Rotherham United manager Paul Warne was on press duty ahead of tonight’s trip to Riverside Stadium to face Middlesbrough.
The clash in the North East will see Warne come up against Boro boss Neil Warnock, who he briefly worked under during his time at the Millers towards the end of the 2015/16 campaign. Warne spoke about his relationship with Warnock, as well as the threats posed by his team.
The manager could hand a Rotherham United debut to his latest addition Ryan Giles, who signed on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers for the remainder of the 2020/21 campaign. Warne spoke about his signing and where he feels he will fit into the side.
Other topics include the progress of Shaun MacDonald, Clark Robertson, Chieo Ogbene and Kieran Sadlier from their injuries and his plans for the rest of the January transfer window.
Warne on his new loan signing Ryan Giles…
"He's a player that we've liked for a couple of years and I've unsuccessfully tried to sign him before, but we've finally convinced him to come.
"At the moment, we are playing with wing backs and recently we let Billy Jones go so we just need a bit more strength in that position. He's a player that we've always liked, so it’s a good addition for us.
"He's played 40-odd games now and he's 21-years-old. He's quick, direct and puts crosses into the box. He's got a good footballing brain on him and a bit of experience in the league after playing 19 times for Coventry this season.
"He's a left wing back who can play left back or on the left wing, but I just think wing back is his best position”
Warne on Billy Jones’ exit…
“Billy has been a brilliant pro for us, I can’t speak highly of him. Me and Richie met him a couple of seasons ago and were surprised he wanted to come and join us, given the career he’d had. His attitude was spot on and I it rubbed off on a few others.
“He trained well, prepared well and when I took him out of the team he was always understanding. He understandably wanted to finish his career playing, he wasn’t getting as many minutes as he’d have liked and he just wanted to continue playing for his kids.
“It made sense to let him go and continue playing, where he has gone has a romantic connotation for him and he goes with our fondest thanks.”
Warne on the prospect of players leaving before the end of the January transfer window…
“There might be one or two who might want to go and play more football. It’s almost like when you don’t want your kids to move out and you want them to live at home forever, but you have to accept that they won’t. It is the same here, we have to accept that some players may want to move on to play more games.”
Warne on his plans for any incomings for the remainder of the window…
“Transfer windows are always tough, especially the January window, but we are hoping to get someone else in. The recruitment team are working tirelessly towards that, but as I sit here now, I’m I’d be lying if I said I’m 100% sure it will happen.”
Warne on the progress of the injured players…
“We had a game amongst ourselves at the Stadium on Friday and both Shaun MacDonald and Clark Robertson were able to play 80 minutes. They will be involved again in the squad for the Middlesbrough game, which is really good.
“Now we just have to get Chieo Ogbene, Kieran Sadlier and Jacob Gratton up to speed before they can be included in the squad. They all need a good week’s training before they are included on the bench.
“Having Shaunny Mac and Robbo back is a brilliant boost and it will be the same when Chieo and Sads return to full fitness, I feel we’re in a really good place for the challenges ahead.”
Warne on facing Middlesbrough…
“We feel like we’re in a really good place and good form and we’ve been playing really well, however all the other team in the bottom seven are picking up points as well. The lads are confident in how they are playing and look really comfortable in the shape at the moment, so we go into the game full of belief.
“We know we can compete with the best teams on our day and in fairness to Middlesbrough they are only one win off the play-off places, so are they are a formidable side. We know how hard they are going to be to play against and the problems they will cause, but after recent performances we can take confidence into the game.”
Warne on his relationship with Neil Warnock…
“I admired the gaffer (Neil Warnock) from afar, he’s a very unique character who works in his own way. I appreciate him taking him under his wing and letting me into his meetings. I read his press and one of the nicest things he said is that he knew he could trust me, which meant a lot. If someone says that they can trust you, it’s an attribute I’m really proud to have.”