Rotherham United Manager Paul Warne was on iFollow Millers press duty ahead of his side’s first away trip of the 2022/23 Sky Bet Championship campaign.
The Millers will travel to face Coventry City at Coventry Building Society Arena on Sunday, as they look to build on a solid start to the campaign against Swansea City.
A number of topics were on the agenda for the manager, including his search for a striker, team news and coming up against his former teammate and friend Mark Robins in the opposite dugout this weekend.
Warne on starting the season with a positive result and performance against Swansea…
“I was really pleased, I said in my pre-match interview that I was expecting them to have a lot of the ball, as they do in a lot of the games they play.
“They are probably the best team in the league for possession, so it was always going to be difficult. Against a team like that, it was important for us to be good when we did have the ball, the workload from the players was really good.
“I’m not naive enough to not recognise that on another day we could have lost the game, but by the same token, we could’ve won too.”
Warne on the confidence boost the Swansea result will give the team…
“It did give them boost. I think I said last week, the fact we played Sheffield United in a behind-closed-doors game before the Swans game, that blowed the cobwebs off a little really and got the lads used to the pace of the game.
“There were some really good performances and that was without Ollie and Tom Eaves in the team, as well as some of the other lads who had only just signed, like Lee and Scott.”
Warne on Lee Peltier and Scott High…
“They’d only just arrived and hadn’t done a lot of work with us. I always try to run a fair ship and pick the best squad I can.
“If I feel that they are the right players to player they will be picked and they’ve both trained really well this week.
“We had a game amongst ourselves between the youth team on Wednesday, there we some really good performances and we’ve got a good squad to pick from.”
Warne on Tom Eaves…
“He’s back on the grass now, which is good. I think he should be joining back with us in 10 days, which is great news.
“Obviously that is still some way off being ready to start for us, but it has given Tom and the rest of the lads a boost, because he’s a big part of what we’re trying to do this year.
“I’m really pleased, he’s going in the right direction but until we’ve actually got him back fit, I’m trying not to get too giddy.”
Warne on Georgie Kelly and whether he will be fit for the weekend following the injury he picked up against Swans…
“He nearly scored with his first touch, in fairness to Georgie. He’s trained really well, too, so he should be good for this weekend.”
Warne on team news…
“I don’t see any massive injuries, but it is still early in the morning! Everyone is in good fettle as it stands. We’ll do our pre-training meeting this morning and get some work into them ahead of the weekend.”
Warne on Coventry City…
“I know Mark Robins really well, obviously he took me back to Rotherham, I’ve been friendly with him for years and I really enjoyed playing with him.
“He’s had an unbelievable career in management, he’s been in the game over 10 years now, which is no mean feat.
“He’s built the team up and has built a clear identity of how he wants to play. I think his teams have really overachieved over the years which is testament to them and him.
“Last season, it looked as if they were going to get in the Play-offs, which would have been amazing, so we know it’ll be a tough test.
“I expect them to have another really good year.”
Warne on his striker search…
“At this moment in time, we’ve got Conor, Chieo and Georgie fit, with Tom Eaves and JJ coming back.
“We could still do with another one and we are trying to do that. But they need to tick all the boxes for us, there’s no point signing someone who isn’t better than what we already have.
“If it doesn’t come off and we go into the season with what we’ve got that’s absolutely fine. As I said, we need to get one to tick all the boxes, which is what we’re trying to do.”
Warne on the shape of his squad with previously injured players returning…
“I think it’s the same for any squad when you’ve got a few injuries, but I’m happy with how we’re looking.
“Our midfield is looking strong, defensively we’re looking good and we have two great goalkeepers, with a lot of good options out-wide and up front.”