Rotherham United manager Paul Warne was on iFollow Millers press duty ahead of his team’s top of the table clash with Wigan Athletic on Friday night as AESSEAL New York Stadium.
The Millers sit top of the Sky Bet League One table and welcome a Latics side one place and six points behind them, with two games in hand.
The Gaffer, whilst accepting the significance of the game, was keen to stress that the fixture with Leam Richardson’s side is not season-defining, with plenty of football still to be played.
You can read highlights from the interview below with video clips to appear on iFollow Millers shortly.
Warne on Sheffield Wednesday win…
“What our team did really well at Hillsborough is that we won and that was our intention when we went.
“We started the game really well and they came into it after that, but we kept a clean sheet and won and as far as we’re concerned, we’ve moved on to the next game.”
Warne on whether derby victory will have given his team a phycological boost…
“I think you’d need to ask the team that, they just like winning being truthful. They could feel the emotion of our away fans and we’ve had great followings all season.
“In that respect, it was nice to reward them by scoring at that end and win, but we’ve had a meeting today on what we could have done better.
“There’s so many games left and as everyone knows by now, as soon as one game is finished, we’re moving onto the next.”
Warne on goals from his strikers…
“It was really good to see Freddie and Smudge get on the scoresheet. Obviously it makes no difference to me who is scoring, but it will give the strikers confidence.
“It was a really worked set-piece for the first goal, which of course gave me a lot of joy, but on the whole it doesn’t bother me who much who is scoring the goals as long as we get them.”
Warne on record-breaking defensive record…
“Obviously it’s really good, but it won’t count for anything at the end of the season if we don’t achieve what we all want to achieve, though.
“It’s nice for the lads to get accolades and it is massive credit to the coaching staff.
“Defending – as I’ve always said – comes from the front, and we have a very hard working team here.
“Chieo at right-wing-back works tirelessly up and down. I did a team meeting yesterday showing three players working tirelessly to stop a goal, which was hugely impressive from our point of view.
“The back three, the midfield and the strikers, all of them have played a part and I’m happy with any goalkeeper I play.
“Defence is a lot down to organisation, which is full credit to the coaches and the players.”
Warne on team news…
“We have a couple of issues, but I’m not sure that will have an impact on Friday.
“Mickel Miller is a few weeks away from a return but I think REG is getting a little close, which is good, he should be back on the training pitch next week.
Warne on the importance of getting injured players back up to speed to contribute to a busy fixture schedule…
“It is a big deal, of course. Like with Shane for example, we want to manage his minutes and protect him from playing every minute of every game.
“This is why we brought in Jordi, in order to compete with Chieo on the opposite flank. Obviously, everyone in team is here to play and not to make the numbers up.
“You want your best players available, quite obviously and I do think we’ve been fortunate with injuries up to now.”
Warne on the difference in training schedule playing Sunday and Friday…
“We gave the lads a couple of days off. We trained yesterday and will train today in preparation for the Wigan game.
“I like a Friday night game under the lights and that in turn enables us to watch Morecambe – our next opponents – play Shrewsbury and on top of that, we get an extra day to rest before that fixture.”
Warne on the importance of the Wigan fixture…
“You’ll be surprised to know that I’ll play it down. If we win and lose the next three, it is irrelevant in some ways, we’ve just go to keep trying to pick up results as much as possible.
“I’ve watched Wigan and I’m well aware of their threats and it should be a game where both teams will try to win.
“All I know is that we’re playing another in-form side with some amazing players. Leam has put together a brilliant squad and everyone is well aware of how good they are.”