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Interviews

READ | Warne's pre-Cambridge United press highlights

16 December 2021

Rotherham United boss Paul Warne addressed the local media on Thursday morning ahead of the trip to the Abbey Stadium to face Cambridge United in Sky Bet League One this weekend.

The first team manager covered a wide array of subjects including giving his thoughts on the impact that the latest strain on the coronavirus is having on football, in general, whilst adding that a number of his own coaching staff have tested positive for the virus and are currently self-isolating.

You can read all of the important information ahead of the weekend's trip to Cambridge, here, with video content to follow later today HERE on iFollow Millers.

 

Warne's update on Mickel Miller [groin] and Wes Harding [ill]...

"Mickel isn't great, so I can't see him being involved this weekend.

"Wes is fine. 

"Wes has trained all week and we look strong."

 

Warne on Covid postponements across football recently and it's possible impact on the festive period...

"I think I mirror most people's feelings on it really. 

"I am concerned and I've had a couple of members of staff go down.

"As soon as you think it is in the building you start panicking.

"I listened to Steven Gerrard's interview the other day about how you go in every day trying to prepare, but whilst expecting a curveball.

"Fortunately, today, I've had no players symptomatic, or with any drama, but we are travelling to Cambridge tomorrow and I'm worried I'll get up Saturday morning with a text on my phone from the staff group saying 'we've got a problem'.

"I am not terrified, but I am pretty anxious about it because it seems like it is going through places quickly."

 

Warne on whether a break in fixtures would help or hinder his side and the competition...

"We're paid to train and perform and I'm not sure myself of the line between sense and sensibility is.

"I understand that if the football season was to cease for two weeks, we could come back in exactly the same situation. 

"I also understand that it isn't just the football and the football players, it is the people who are turning up en-masse to watch the games.

"We're in really good form and we want to play and keep going but as always, we go by the EFL directives and do everything we possibly can.

"We're back to single coaches and single rooms for away games. We do what we can to keep Covid away from us.

"It's really difficult. No team wants to go into a team under-strength, but there is under-strength and beaten up really.

"I can hear myself saying it and I can hear half of our fans disagreeing with it straight away but it is a really sensitive subject."

 

Warne on Freddie Ladapo's goal return so far this season, having just netted three goals in two games...

"In fairness, none of the strikers have played every minute really.

"JJ has started a few and so has Griggy, I think it's only Smudge who has become the Golden Boy!

"The other three have rotated a bit more.

"Freddie has played a lot of minutes off the bench and I appreciate that. 

"Nobody wants to be told that they're effective off the bench, but he is and Chieo is one of the best subs I've ever had, but he's also one of our best players.

"I've always had a lot of time for Freddie. I brought him to the club because he's a goal scorer and guarantees goals.

"He's not afraid to miss, which I really like about him and his work rate has been really good. The last couple of months, he's been one of our standout players.

"It's good for him that he's scoring regularly and it is increasing his overall confidence.

"Bringing Griggy in has helped him - he possibly won't admit it if you ask him - but I think subconsciously, it has made him sharpen his skillset up.

"I think this year with Griggy and JJ also contributing, it has pushed the standard up."

 

Warne on Dan Barlaser adding goals to his role in midfield...

"If you're an ambitious young man, which Dan definitely is, or if you're a midfielder performing well week-in, week-out and you can add eight, nine or 10 goals to your season, all of a sudden you're on everyone's recruitment list.

"Goals definitely affect your value in the team and externally as well.

"I think Dan is in a really good place, but he is blessed that he has really good midfielders around him.

"Haks is desperate to play as he should be because he's a good player, but Dan has been outstanding really.

"He's lucky to have Ollie and Wilesy in front of him, making good runs and enabling him to play.

"It is not about the individual in this team. Anyone can come out and anyone can go in and the team is still great."

 

Warne on Cambridge United and what can be taken from the recent meeting...

"It can help us in doing our analysis, that is for sure.

"We're showing the lads the problems they caused us last time and the problems that we caused them, which is quite nice.

"The game is quite fresh in our memories but I was really impressed with them.

"I remember saying after the game that they were one of the toughest teams we've faced.

"Ironside up top caused us problems and I know it will be a tough game because they're a really good home team.

"They didn't drop points against Oxford, Ipswich, Sheffield Wednesday or Wigan and I think it is only Sunderland who managed to beat them there.

"We know they start quick and are a confident footballing side, who will ask us a lot of questions."


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