Rotherham United manager Paul Warne was on iFollow Millers press duty ahead of his side's trip to Pride Park to face Derby County on Saturday.
The Millers travel to face the Rams off the back on an impressive display against Everton in the Emirates FA Cup last weekend and will be hoping for a positive result in their first league game of 2021.
On the agenda for the Millers boss were topics including his latest team news ahead of the fixture, the likelihood of any imminent incomings in the January transfer window and facing Derby County this Saturday.
Warne on team news and progress of players who are out injured…
“Freddie Ladapo had a groin issue, so we took that week to come off him a little bit. He had an injection on Tuesday and is now back in training.
“Flo (Jozefzoon) can’t play, Macca (Shaun MacDonald) is back in, as is Clark Robertson and they both trained really well. We’re in a good place and we look forward to the games. We’re really pleased on that respect, they’ve all come back in and fitted in straight away.
“Robbo and Macca will definitely travel with the squad, they won’t be able to start, but they could potentially have some impact as subs. If there is an opportunity to put them on the pitch, I can’t see why I couldn’t.”
Warne on likelihood of any imminent incomings in the January transfer window…
“I don’t think there’s going to be anything happening soon. Players will leave, but I don’t think there will be anything inbound at present.
"Loaning players out to League One and Two is a lot more difficult, because those clubs are struggling a lot more financially and of course, have the salary cap to think about.
“The massive thing is the nine subs, all of a sudden no one wants to let anyone go.
"I’m not saying it won’t speed up, but at the moment everyone is keeping their cards very close to their chests. The 25-man squad rule has limited what you can and can’t do, we don’t want anyone outside our squad who isn't available to play, there is a lot more to this window than there has been to previous ones, that is for sure.”
Warne on contracts…
“There have been conversations, we just want to get this month out of the way first.
"The ones who are in the forefront of our mind need to keep performing at their levels. We can’t get carried away, there are players out of contract in the summer who will leave and there are players we would like to tie down, however they might want to play their football elsewhere.
“We’ve had meetings about it, but I think this month is complicated enough, without throwing that into the mix as well.”
Warne on the fixture schedule…
“It feels like we’ve had one game in a month, it has been surreal. Originally, we were having two games a week and the focus was prepare, recover and get your head down and get through it. I think we’re trying to keep training as fresh as we can.
“Once we’re back in the packed schedule again we’re hoping our pre-season schedule will stand us in good stead. I have a lot of belief in this group and sometimes one result can make a huge difference.”
Warne on competition for places in the goalkeeping ranks…
“With individuals, I like to stay stable with a number one. Goalkeepers are not any different to anyone else on the pitch and we scrutinise them just as much. We see them train nine hours a week, speak to them and see what they think and determine who suits certain games.
“I thought Jamal did well last week, but in fairness if Viktor played I’d have expected him to do well as well. It’s just an ongoing process and one I expect managers to have at every club.”
Warne on Derby County…
“It is a lot more difficult to analyse the opposition in these circumstances, so we’ve just gone off their really good form prior to their Covid issues really. All we can do is prepare as well as we can.
“Under Wayne Rooney they are very difficult to score against, before we were due to play them they were the in-form side in the league.
“I don’t believe they will be in the position they find themselves in now at the end of the season, people outside the club will see this as ‘must-win’, but we treat all our games like that.”