Rotherham United manager Paul Warne was on iFollow Millers press duty ahead of the visit of Stoke City to AESSEAL New York Stadium this evening.
The Millers will be looking to capitalise being on home soil for the first time in 2021, following two strong recent displays at Everton and Derby County.
The game will mark Warne’s 200th in charge of Rotherham United and he has been reflecting on how he has developed as a manager during this time.
In addition to this, the gaffer looked back on a good performance at Pride Park on Saturday, as well as turning attentions to tonight’s clash with the Potters.
Other topics included team news ahead of the game and the injury progress of Chieo Ogbene and Kieran Sadlier.
Warne on Saturday’s win at Derby County…
“I thought our performance deserved the three points and I’m really proud of the lads. We were still going for the win towards the end of the game and we managed to see out the added four minutes once we found the goal.
“It was a really good day at the office for us and we’re going to need more of them if we’re going to have a successful season.
“Obviously a win gives everyone a boost and obviously coming into another tough home game, the lads are going to feel better about themselves, I like to think when positive things happen it gives you positive thoughts and I think a win does that.”
Warne on keeping a clean sheet…
“I asked before the game for a clean sheet. It’s not just the goalkeeper, but the 10 players in front of him as well. I think they did their best to reduce them to very few opportunities inside the box and what they did put in the box, Jamal (Blackman) dealt with really well.
“Overall I’m really pleased, the back three have done very well over recent weeks, so it was just nice to get a clean sheet and that will hopefully give the centre halves and the wing-backs a lot of confidence.”
Warne on Jamie Lindsay’s recent form…
“You can see how pleased I am with him because he plays most weeks, his work rate is phenomenal. I think our midfielders have everything, they have energy, aggression and a bit of quality and Jamie plays a part in all of them.
“He’s been a massive part of our successful performances and he’s adding goals to his game which is great. If he continues how he’s going, hopefully for him and his family, he’ll be on the radar of the Scottish National Team.
“He’s had a really good season, which started with an excellent pre-season where he was flying and he’s just carried it on throughout the season and as of now, it has been going really well.”
Warne on the recent performances of his midfielders…
“They’ve been excellent and in fairness so was Shaun MacDonald before his injury. He’s back now, so hopefully that will keep all of them on their toes.
“Dan Barlaser has come on physically and looks like he’s moving a lot better, he’s improved no end and Ben Wiles is a class act who can play anywhere on the pitch.
“As well as that, in recent weeks I think Matt Crooks’ performances have really stood out.”
Warne on team news…
“There’s a few knocks and bruises as there always is, but nothing that I think should have an impact on team selection or the way we plan to play tomorrow night.”
Warne on Clark Robertson and Shaun MacDonald being back in the matchday squad at the weekend…
“The lads know how important they are to the club, they are big players and in the dressing room when big players are back, it is a huge bonus.
“Shaunny Mac is a good voice to have, an experienced pro who has had a great career and the lads have a lot of respect for him. So to have him around the place is a massive addition, as well as Robbo (Clark Robertson).”
Warne Chieo Ogbene and Kieran Sadlier’s injury progress…
“They are progressing really well, both of them are on the grass with the physios and running every day. They are close, I’m expecting them to join in squad training in some part before the week finishes, which is great.
“The Middlesbrough game next week will be a bit too soon I think, but they both might be available after that.”
Warne on reaching 200 games as Rotherham United manager…
“I think overall I’m probably a little bit more on an even keel, I’ve done it for a few years now at this club and it has been a real honour. Management is difficult, I’m not going to pretend otherwise, but I have really enjoyed coming into work and working with my best friends every day.
“If it was to end tomorrow, I wouldn’t have any regrets, I think we’ve given everything for the last four years. So I think I’m a little bit more relaxed in my own skin, I think I’m the same person I was four years ago, just with a bit more experience.”
Warne on Stoke City…
“I know the manager Michael O’Neill from my time at Wigan. At Northern Ireland he was always the underdog, so he’s very good at setting up his teams not to concede, however he’s got so many weapons going forward.
“Fundamentally I think he’s massively improved the defence, they have one of the best defensive records in the league, and in addition to that they still hold a goal threat. I think since he’s taken over, he’s collected a lot of points and really turned the club around.
“Just recently they’ve brought in Rhys Norrington-Davies from Sheffield United, who is a great player. Jack Clarke from Spurs, who is an amazing talent and Rabbi Matondo from Schalke 04. They’ve also got Joe Allen and John Obi Mikel in midfield, so this is a phenomenal team.
“The last time we played them I think we played pretty well and unfortunately one ball over the top cost us. We will try and get after them, it will be a game both teams will be trying to win, as they always do.”