Rotherham United manager Paul Warne spoke to the press today ahead of his side’s trip to the South Coast to take on AFC Bournemouth on Wednesday.
The Millers will be looking to build on an impressive run of form and performances when they travel to face the promotion chasing Cherries, but the manager is under no illusions of the scale of the task facing his team.
Also on the agenda for the gaffer was his team news ahead of the fixture and how his side have coped with the adverse weather conditions to prepare for the game.
Warne on team news…
“We’re looking good. I think the only real doubt was Shaun MacDonald, he felt a little bit of pain in his calf yesterday.
“He had a scan yesterday and got the all clear, so that is all good, he’ll train today and then travel down with the squad for Bournemouth.
“It is a massive bonus to have Shaun, he has a big impact on the group. He is a great leader and the younger lads certainly look up to him. It’s great news that he’s travelling.
“We’ve got no real issues, they’ve had a weekend without a game, so I think they were quite keen to come back in and run around.
“Hopefully, they’ll be full of energy for the game.”
Warne on the impact the weather has had on preparation…
“It has been awkward because the pitch has been frozen at the stadium and at the training ground, so we’ve had to train on astro.
“Some of our senior players were unable to train at all for obvious reasons, then I just let them have a weekend with their families, which can be as good as a training session in my eyes.
“We’ve been back on the grass this week and had a hard training session yesterday. We’ll travel today and then rest up for the game tomorrow night.”
Warne on Bournemouth…
“Bournemouth started the season really well, I don’t think they’ve ever been out the top six, so I don’t think they’ve ever been in a really bad place this season.
“Obviously, their objective at the start of the season was to get back to the Premier League straight away and that comes with added pressure.
“If you look at the form table, they had a bit of a slump but have really picked up since Jonathan Woodgate took over.
“I think they’ve done well, I’ve watched their last two games and they are definitely on the ascendancy and they’ve got a phenomenal team.
“Hopefully we can impose ourselves on the game. I don’t get too obsessed with form tables or anything like that, I just think we have to set ourselves up to play the best way we can.
“We know how we press can sometimes lead us vulnerable at the back, but it is a risk and reward strategy that we’ve been working on and hopefully we can cause them as many problems as they cause us.”
Warne on the last fixture between the two sides…
“I thought we played really well that day and could have won it. I think the actions of the lads over the last six to seven games have been excellent.
“I don’t think we’re going there like lambs to the slaughter, we’ve played them and done really against them, obviously you have to respect the opposition and they are an excellent team, but we believe we can come away with something.
“I think the lads are looking forward to playing and representing the club and seeing where that takes us.”