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READ | Warne's pre-Sunderland press highlights

28 October 2021

Rotherham United boss Paul Warne spoke to local journalists ahead of a big game in Sky Bet League One against Sunderland at AESSEAL New York Stadium.

With his free-scoring, clean sheet-keeping side recording another great result in midweek against Manchester City U21s in the Papa John's Trophy, there was plenty of positives to cover, including; Michael Smith among the goals again at MK Dons, progress on the injury front and his attacking options in the absence of Will Grigg.

You can read all of that and more in our press highlights below, with full video content available to watch shortly on iFollow Millers, HERE.


Warne on any new injury concerns ahead of the Sunderland clash...

"Not to my knowledge.

"I have just delayed the start of this chat to speak to my physios though.

"Mickel Miller is a little bit sore - which concerns an injury he's had for a little while in his foot, but he managed to play 90 minutes in midweek. He should be fine for this weekend.

"I don't know of any other dramas and it sounds like my old campaigners are fine, so we're good to go I think."

"Angus is starting his slow recovery and I think there's only Joe Mattock.


Warne on Jamie Lindsay progress...

"Jamie Lindsay is on the grass, we have to keep telling him he's not ready, even though he tells us he is!

"We hope he will be ready a day or so after the FA Cup game.

"After the international break, if we don't get any other issues, we should be looking good."


Warne on Michael Smith and being awarded the second goal at MK Dons...

"He's pleased.

"He said at the time that it was his goal as all centre forwards do, but I have a lot of trust in my players.

"He asked me at the Tuesday training session about how we would go about getting it looked at.

"I told him to make sure that he wasn't lying to me because I would be mortified if he had claimed a goal that wasn't his."


Warne on Smith having added goals to his game this season...

"Everyone is smiling.

"Smudge's performances - as everyone else's have to be fair - have been outstanding.

"Fundamentally, strikers are judged on goals.
"We think Smudge is judged on more than that at this place, but goals are a joy for people to score at any time.

"It's probably been a few years building up but this year, whatever he does it right. Even when he doesn't try to score it hits him and goes in - that is some skill on its own.

"I think it also pushes Dan [Barlaser] to being one of the top assist-makers in the league, so he's buzzing."


Warne on competition in attack and Will Grigg being unavailable to face his parent club this weekend...

"They [Freddie Ladapo and Joshua Kayode] both have different attributes.

"Freddie has the experience and JJ has the athleticism. They've both been good players for us and it's a good decision for us to have to make.

"It isn't something I'm panicking about because we've got good strikers.

"We've been fortunate that everyone has kept fit and competition for places is good.

"If whoever comes in is outstanding, then Griggy will have to fight his way back in. That's how football is."


Warne's reflections on Papa John's Trophy and its usefulness in getting minutes into players young and old...

"It has been useful.

"Sometimes you're thinking it's tough that you have another game on a Tuesday night because you want to get through injury-free.

"It's good for anyone to play in that environment. If we weren't in the Papa John's Trophy, we'd get games to play behind closed doors, but there's something different about playing in a game that means something.

"It's nice for the players to show why they think they should be in the team and it's good for the younger lads as well. Jake Hull is doing really well and it was Gratts' first start."


Warne on Sadlier's impact in midweek...

"He was good but I still think he could have had a couple more goals!

"Kieran got a hat-trick. He's brilliant on free kicks and we've never disputed that.

"I think the lads can come out really pleased with themselves."


Warne on Warne Jnr's senior debut...

"It was a strange one really.

"I looked up at my Mrs and my daughter and they were buzzing and I spoke to my Mum who got a bit emotional with me and said about how much my Dad would have loved it.

"I don't believe in nepotism and I have had no involvement in his progress through the Academy.

"I've hardly watched him train, although I have watched him play a bit obviously.

"My wife is the one who has put all of the hours in, all of the driving in and all of the meetings.

"It's good for him, but I also feel a bit awkward talking about it. He's got a very long way to go."


Warne on the fact that the Millers have scored at least three in five of their last seven games...

"You can have games where you literally can't score, so it is good.

"I think we had 20-odd attempts at Lincoln and I can't let that one go!

"If you're going to win games, you need to take your chances and at the moment the lads are putting the ball away and feeling good about themselves.

"The next game is a completely different kettle of fish. The next game always has different questions.

"We need to be grateful of how we're doing but keep driving standards to try and win another game."


Warne on Sunderland...

"They probably come into this game with an attitude that they want to come and win.

"My opinion is that they want to play out from the back. They flood the box and crosses come predominantly from the full-backs.

"It's hard to do an interview and be completely, 100% candid, but I just think it will be a really good game.

"Sunderland will bring a big following, as will we and I think both teams will try and win the game, which as a fan of both teams is all you can ask for.

"Both teams can score goals, both teams have a real talent.

"With McGeady, Pritchard and Stewart they've got some pretty outstanding players at the top end of the pitch and I've always been a massive fan of O'Nien."



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