Rotherham United manager Paul Warne was on press duty ahead of Saturday’s crucial Sky Bet League One clash with Oxford United.
Both teams head into the clash at AESSEAL New York Stadium looking for three points to strengthen their promotion aspirations.
The manager confirmed that left-wing-back Shane Ferguson will be out for the remainder of the campaign after picking up an injury in midweek against Burton Albion, but was more upbeat about Jordi Osei-Tutu’s prospects of making the side.
You can read highlights from the interview below…
Warne on injury news…
“Unfortunately Shane’s season is finished, he has damaged to his pad under his foot and still in a lot of pain so sadly he will be out for the rest of the season.
“Jordi has a good chance of being available for selection. After that, there are no more issues.”
Warne on the importance of the final week of the season…
“It’s a big week, obviously and time will tell whether it is the ‘biggest week’ of my time as manager. Everything is magnified by the end of the season and you can see that a lot of teams are struggling to get the results they want.
“I just think possibly because of the position we were in the, the pressure might be greater. We’re still in a good position with three games left and we need to win at least two of them, so it is a big week.
“I feel like it is going to go to the last game of the season.”
Warne on Tuesday’s game at Burton…
“We’ve watched the game against Burton back and as ever the margins were so fine. It could have been 4-4, 2-0 to us or 3-0 to Burton. All the games are a little random at the minute.
“The fans really stuck with the team and I thank them for that. I had a feeling the results had gone for us, but we can’t keep relying on that.
“We need to do our bit against a good team on Saturday.”
Warne on trying to get back to form in front of goal…
“Our goalscoring prowess has definitely dropped off, but there were ample opportunities to score on Tuesday that we didn’t take.
“We’ve had a week of practicing set-pieces, because I feel like we’ve lost a bit of a threat from them in recent weeks.
“We had 20 plus attempts at goal the other night, so we are pulling the trigger, it just isn’t happening for us at the moment.
“We have to believe that the goals will come and if we talk about it too much, we turn it into an even bigger issue.
“It’s the ‘managerial answer’, I know, but all we can do it get back on the training ground and try and put it right.”
Warne on encouraging the players head of a big week…
“No one wants to win more than the players, I think everybody appreciates that the lads are trying to do everything.
“We encourage them in the team environment, in the meetings and we just want to tell them how great they are, because they are.
“I just keep trying to encourage them every day. They are human, they do feel pressure and go through difficult runs of form, we’ve just got to keep them believing.”
Warne on who ‘lifts’ him during a difficult run…
“I spoke to the Chairman on Wednesday and he was upbeat and positive.
“I’m the one who gets the plaudits unfairly when we win and when we lose it’s on me, I get that. It’s my job to pick the group up, manage moods and try to be positive all the time.
“I’m lucky to work with a fantastic staff, who work hard with a smile on their face, which is what picks me up.”
Warne on what to expect from Saturday’s game…
“I think it will be a completely different game to midweek. Oxford have very technical players and are brave with their shape, they are comfortable leaving three high up the pitch.
“They take risks with the ball but are very competent.
“I think the game will be very similar to the Ipswich game, where both teams will carry a threat. Both teams are desperate to win and I think it is too evenly matched teams.
“The fans were very good on Saturday against Ipswich and I know we’ll get that support again. I think it’ll be two teams going for it.”