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READ | Warne's pre-Sunderland press highligths

25 April 2022

Rotherham United Manager Paul Warne spoke to the local media this morning, ahead of his side’s trip to the North East to take on Sunderland on Tuesday.

The Millers head to the Stadium of Light looking to strengthen their grip on the final automatic promotion place, with Warne’s side currently level on points with MK Dons, ahead of the last round of fixtures on Saturday.

Warne acknowledged that their task will not be easy against a Black Cats side who have won seven of their last 10 games, including five successive victories at home.

You can read highlights from the interview below.

 

Warne on team news…

“We’ve got no major concerns, you always have a few aches and pains the day after a game, but I don’t think any of that is going to change who is available on Tuesday night.

“I think we’ll have the same players available to us.”

 

 

Warne on Freddie Ladapo not being included in the squad to face Oxford…

“There are no dramas there. There always has to be someone left out of the squad when everyone is fit and I made the decision I did.

“I’ll make a decision before training ends today and we’ll go again from there. I decided to play Freddie on Tuesday or Saturday, I will.

“I can see how it looks, but as always everything is multiplied, but there was no great drama.”

 

Warne on Georgie Kelly's chances of playing a part in the run-in... 

“If he is needed we will use him, but it will be a tactical decision not a romantic one. Hopefully, he can get on the pitch, it’ll be great for him.

“But all the lads deserve to play a part and I won’t look at the decision to use Georgie any more favourably than I would anyone else.”

 

Warne on Michael Ihiekwe, Michael Smith and Dan Barlaser being included in the Sky Bet League One Team of the Year…

“I’m pleased for them, it’s a real achievement. Every manager of every club feels their players deserve to be in it and it gives them a real boost.

“There are many players, who had great seasons, so to get highlighted in the way they have is some achievement.”

 

 

Warne on whether any other players from his team could have been included…

“If you’d have told me a Josh Vickers, a Ben Wiles or a Chiedozie Ogbene was included, I wouldn’t have been surprised.

“I could go through my team, but I’m very biased, as is everyone. There’s loads of players who have done well this year, it’s a democratic vote and I think it is a fair representation of the league.”

 

Warne on the second half performance on Saturday and whether it was as important as the result…

“It wasn’t as important as the result, but it was an important performance. If we’d have been brilliant and lost, we’d have carried that hangover into Sunderland.

“The fact we played well and the atmosphere was brilliant, will give the lads a boost. We’re a League One team, playing in a really tight league, against a good team in Oxford.

“To come away with a win and give ourselves a chance to have a fate in our hands going into the final week is great.”

 

Warne on the character shown by the team…

“We were good and I thought we were in the Burton game. Sometimes you get what you deserve in games and sometimes you don’t.

“You’re always going to lose football games, it’s so difficult to win games. All the teams in the top six are desperate to win.

“Sunderland are coming into the end of the season in unbelievable form, but a lost of teams have struggled for it in recent weeks.

“It would be disappointing if we dropped into the Play-offs, the lads are no different to me, they want to finish the season well.”

 

Warne on the Sunderland game…

“As a player, I’d be thinking ‘brilliant’, playing against a great club, with both teams wanting to win. These are the games you want to play in.

“We go into it in reasonable form and we just have to try and compete. From my point of view it’s an honour to manage a team in that stadium and we want the lads to go out and express themselves and hopefully come away with a win.

“I don’t want the lads to feel like it’s a ‘must win’, it’s a game they should enjoy playing in. If we were to come away with a win, it would mean MK would have to win and we’d have to have a bad goal-swing against Gillingham.

“We just all want to win football games, if it was the fifth game of the season, I’d want to win it just as much, although I accept that the prize is greater now.

 

Warne on Sunderland’s form and Alex Neil’s impact on the team…

“They’ve done really well and Alex is a great manager, too. He’s really well experienced and at a club that won’t phase him.

“He’s got a team that wants to win and the fans are right behind him. Winning seven games out of 10 in any league is some going.

“They’ve got confidence and goals in their team and they will be full of confidence. It’ll be a tough game, but – respectfully – I feel like Alex will be thinking the same about us."


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