Rotherham United manager Paul Warne was on iFollow Millers press duty ahead of his side’s Sky Bet Championship game with Reading at AESSEAL New York Stadium on Saturday.
Warne reflected on the team's most recent fixture against Nottingham Forest last Tuesday, which saw the Millers edged out on home soil by Chris Hughton's men. One of the highlights of the game was the performance of goalkeeper Viktor Johansson and the manager discussed the Swede’s recent displays.
Also on the agenda was an update on the fitness of Jamie Lindsay, Joe Mattock and Chiedozie Ogbene, who have all been sidelined with injuries in recent weeks, as well as his team news ahead of Saturday's game.
You can read the highlights from the interview below, with video content to follow shortly HERE on iFollow Millers.
Warne on Tuesday’s defeat to Nottingham Forest…
“I’ve watched the game a couple of times since it finished, I didn’t really think there was much in it. In fairness, I think we arguably had the two best chances of the game. Forest’s best chances were offside and I think their goal was possibly offside as well.
“Against a team who have only lost one in 12, was our performance great? Not really. Was theirs? Again, not really. I didn’t think it was a great game truth be told, but I just thought they probably edged it hand on heart.
“I’m disappointed with the result and the performance but I don’t think it detracts from the monumental effort the lads put in the last week.”
Warne on Viktor Johansson…
“I’ve always liked Viktor (Johansson) and I’ve always liked Jam (Jamal Blackman) as well, it’s just that Viktor has had his opportunity recently.
“I think he has really grown into his season, I ask my goalkeepers to be a little bit on the edge and if they make a mistake that is on me.
“We ask a lot of them kicking-wise as well and his kicking was really good and all my goalkeepers are good characters.
“His character really suits this football club and he gives himself a chance by being the best he can be every day.
“Viktor’s performance have been backed by really good performances infront of him.”
Warne on competition for places in goal…
“Josh Vickers is a great goalkeeper and he’s been unlucky to have two keepers infront of him in great form because if I had to play him I’d have no issue.
“I’m really pleased with Viktor, he takes information on really well and I think his displays have been credit to the whole goalkeeping department.”
Warne on the performances of his midfielders…
“With a back three and especially against teams who can pin you back a bit, the midfield four have a real responsibility.
“We’ve had about 15 hours on a bus in the last six days and played games full out against good football sides and it does take its toll.
“We were speaking as staff and we were saying jaded we were as well, so I’m really pleased with their efforts.
“Massive credit goes to Ross (Burbeary) our Head of Performance, we try to make our group as fit as they can be and that is why pre-season to us is fundamental.”
Warne on Lewis Wing…
“I really like him, he’s obviously got an energy about him and he can run all day. He’s got a great footballing brain and always seems to be in the right place.
“We need to get him into the positions to let his peg go because he’s definitely got goals in him.
"I’m really please with how he’s settled in and I think he’s a really good addition to our midfield.”
Warne on Richard Wood’s injury…
“He’s okay, but still a little bit sore. He’s better than what he was but I think Saturday’s game might be a little too soon for him. Hopefully we can get him in a position where he can play a part next week.”
Warne on team news…
“I would be lying if I said they were not looking a little jaded, but it is nice to come in today with nice weather and the pitches look a lot more solid.
“The lads just want to run around, we’ve got a third of the season left, it is going to be a monumental effort but I think the lads are looking forward to trying to right the wrong from the other night.”
Warne on Chieo Ogbene, Jamie Lindsay and Joe Mattock’s injury progress…
“He (Chieo Ogbene) is a couple of weeks away at least. He’s got a bit of work to do on the grass.
“Bless him, he’s been out for long periods of time, so he’s going to virtually need a mini pre-season to get him back up to speed.
“It is a positive boost for us, Joe Mattock is back on the grass at the end of this week and Jamie Lindsay could be back sooner than he hoped as well.
“Jamie had a scan which initially said he could be out for nine to 10 weeks, he had another scan and we spoke to a specialist who said his diagnosis is possibly only six to seven weeks now. It looks like he will join in training with the squad for the international break.”
Warne on his side’s flexibility to change the shape…
“We have a few options where we can either keep the shape the same or change it and play a different way, which wouldn’t be a problem at home especially.
“We’ll look at a few connotations and work out which is the best way to play.”
Warne on Reading…
“Technically and athletically they are really good, I think they have one of the paciest teams in the league.
“That is how they get you, on the counter attack. They kill you with kindness in a sense because you think you’re doing really well against them and then they break and score.
“It is no surprise to me that they are in the top six, because as well as we played at their place, they were very ruthless with their finishing. I’d be surprised if they don’t finish in the top six.”