Rotherham United manager Paul Warne on iFollow Millers press duty ahead of the Emirates FA Cup Second Round tie with Stockport County on Friday night.
The Millers welcome the Hatters to AESSEAL New York Stadium, off the back of making it a club-record 17 games unbeaten against Port Vale in the Papa John’s Trophy on Tuesday night.
Also up for discussion was the completion of the Prostate United challenge, his team news ahead of the game and competing in three competitions.
Warne on Port Vale…
“I think we dominated the first half and should have been out sight at the break, but we weren’t. In fairness to Port Vale they were very spirited, played really well in the second half and deserved their draw.
“We’ve done a presentation this morning on what we thought went well and what didn’t, because you’re always trying to learn.
“The things that didn’t go as we’d have liked, we can use as a learning curve and help the lads improve for the next game.”
Warne on the Papa John’s Trophy…
“You’re always in every game to win, I’ve never picked a team to lose. In the earlier rounds we tried to blood a few youngsters in and to be fair I did want to play Jake Hull last night, but Icky needed some minutes.
“I’ll look at the next game in the same way, we want to win every game we play and winning football matches is a good habit to get into.
“Some people look at cup games differently, but sincerely the lads just want to win football matches. Viktor saved a penalty, which will be great for his confidence too, so that’s great.
“We want to go as far as we can and we will do everything we can to try and win it.”
📽️ | Those of you who watched Tuesday's game on iFollow Millers will have noticed a Geordie twang on the commentary...— Rotherham United (@OfficialRUFC) December 2, 2021
As polished on the mic as he is the ball, @barlaser_97 now has his sights firmly set on being the next Gary Neville! #rufc | #ForeverTogetherForeverProud pic.twitter.com/piYF30kT0Q
Warne on the competition for places in goal…
“Josh isn’t fit enough to play at the moment, but Viktor has come in and done really well, as he was prior to Josh getting the shirt.
“Between them they must have the most clean sheets in the country and that is why I was disappointed last night, because he didn’t deserve to concede.
“Both are doing really well, so long may that continue.”
Warne on the progress of Joshua Kayode and Hakeem Odoffin…
“Everyone is playing so well at the moment, all they can do is keep training and doing the extra work.
“This will help ensure that they are ready when the opportunity arises to show they can step up and be in the first team.
“I think they are both doing really well. I always thought with Haks that it would be a big step and may take a bit of time, I spoke to him this morning, showed him what he did that I liked and what he can improve on.
“He’s behind a pretty formidable midfield three at the moment and so is JJ in the respect of our striking options, but I’ve been really please with how both of them have been progressing.”
Warne on Will Grigg injury…
“Griggy has got swelling on his lower back and struggled throughout the first half. There is a chance that he won’t be available on Friday.
“He’s better than we thought he would be, but at the moment he looks a little bit like Kim Kardashian, which the lads were buzzing over, bless him.
“We’re hoping he will be available and he has more of a chance than I thought he would yesterday.
Warne on team news…
“Everyone is fine this morning and we have no other issues, so in that respect we are good.”
Warne on the unbeaten run…
“To me, it doesn’t mean anything at the moment. When you’re on a run, the other team always wants to beat you.
“I don’t want to sound too cliched, but it is always about the next game.
“It is great for the lads, but in fairness we set them up to win every game. We have hard games coming up and there is always the chance that it will come to an end. If it ends in the first game of May, that would make my job a lot easier!
“The lads haven’t talked about it and neither have we as staff. This without the achievement of finishing in the top six would be quite disappointing, I want it to be part of a bigger story.”
Warne on the cup games offering a break from the league schedule…
“We play Gillingham on Tuesday, who won’t play at the weekend. I’d never say I would rather not be in the cups, because it is good to be in them.
“But looking at it from a league perspective, it is easier to prepare without having a cup game, having said that, I’ve made no secret in the fact we want to win every game.
“Sitting top of the league going into the two cup games is a great feeling and we want to embrace these games for what they are.
“Hopefully it will be a great game on Friday night and we can enjoy the cup game for what It is.”
Warne on Prostate United 2021…
“We’re very proud of what Ross Burbeary and Stephen Gilpin started, I think the world of my staff and we’ve surrounded ourselves with great people.
“As a role in the community, our football plays a big part and I’m all for that. Ross and Gilps are the epitome of professionalism and I have absolute respect for them.
“To add that to the workload and the games we’ve had to drive it has been really inspirational really.
“Those lads did 10k every day and fair play to them. They drive standards every day in training and they have done here.
“They’ve raised more money year on year and I’m sure next year they will thing of another niche to make it bigger than ever.”
Warne on Stockport…
“I watched them against Bolton and I think they more than deserved their win and if they come here and play as well as they did that game, it wouldn’t shock a lot of people, I don’t think.
“As I said in my press last night, no game will ever roll over and let you beat them and we will have to earn everything we get against Stockport on Friday night.
“Hopefully, if we play at our best, we will have enough to win, but everything has to be fought for and with any luck it will be enough.”