Rotherham United manager Paul Warne was on hand to take time out of his busy Thursday morning schedule, to speak to iFollow Millers ahead of Saturday’s Sky Bet League One hosting of Shrewsbury Town.
This is the second meeting between the pair in just 18 days and given Salop’s performance in the 0-0 draw and their 5-0 success in midweek, Warne reaffirmed that he is expecting a tough encounter against Steve Cotterill’s side.
The Millers are still hoping for positive news on the injury front, with Dan Barlaser, Ollie Rathbone and Jamie Lindsay up for discussion with the manager.
Warne on midweek win over Lincoln…
“I thought we were very good in the first half. We put crosses, in the box, created loads of chances and looked athletic all over the pitch.
“In the first half we were the team in the ascendency and looked really good, but as you know, no two halves are football are the same.
“We started the second half well, Wilesy had a good chance, but after that they came into it. Dan went down and Ollie was struggling too. JJ was outstanding but it was his first game in a while and he tired.”
Warne on the switch to a 5-2-3-1 formation during midweek…
“We only had one midfielder and no striker on the bench, so we were forced to change the system, which worked in patches but not well in others.
“The lads were a little unsure when and when not to press. We’re going to help them out today, because if we need to use that system again to ride out a game, we will.
“Watching the Arsenal v Liverpool game last night, both teams knew when and when not to press, you can’t have the ball 100% of the time.
“We have to except that there are some very good teams in this league who will have the ball and at times we’ll have to accept that at times we’ll have to sit and get our energy back before we go again.”
Warne on performance and energy levels…
“The lads have shown they can mix their game up all season and performed at such a level. We’ve asked a lot of them week in, week out.
“You look at the likes of Wilesy, Ollie, Chieo and Smudge, they’ve played a significant amount of football.
“I’m not saying we’re Leeds, but when you watch how they play for example, it takes a lot out of the players.
“Lincoln did cause us problems and we knew it was going to be a difficult game. If we’d have got the third goal the evening could have gone a different route.
“First half, the performance and energy levels were excellent. In the second, Lincoln to their credit came back into it and we were forced into changes we didn’t want to make.
“We’re going to show the lads the problems we had with the press in the second half and hopefully improve on that.”
Warne on Joshua Kayode, Ben Wiles and Ollie Rathbone…
“I think the outstanding player on Tuesday night was JJ.
“His press was a joke, he won most of his headers which we asked him to do and for him to come in and put that performance was really pleasing.
“I think both Wilesy and Ollie were really good in the middle, too and were involved in both goals. Both worked really hard for the team and were a really plus.”
Warne on the different options up front…
“JJ did really well and has done more than enough to be considered to keep his shirt. I’ve just spoken to Freddie who is in a really good place and hopefully we’ll have him back in a couple of weeks.
“Hopefully that’ll be the same with Georgie and our options will increase. JJ isn’t an idiot and knows how football works.
“He understands that when the seniors do come back, his performance levels have to be very high to stay in the team.”
Warne on injuries to Dan Barlaser and Ollie Rathbone…
“Neither will train today, so whether they can train tomorrow to play a part on Saturday, I don’t know.
“We’ll see how they progress with their treatments today and what their pain threshold is like.
“They are both a doubt. It’s the first Thursday we’ve had where we’ve not had many out there, we’ve only got eight doing a full session today.
“We’ve got a lot walking wounded and some fatigue. We need to get through this weekend and give the lads a bit of gametime.”
Warne on Jamie Lindsay…
“He’ll train as part of the eight today, so we’ll see how he is. He’s desperate to play and be involved, but he knows if he’s not 100%, he can’t be included.
“I’m hopeful with Jamie, because we miss him.”
Warne on the upcoming international break…
“It’ll be nice to have a couple of days away from each other and spend time with our families. After that, it is about getting some training sessions into them.
“It is a lot more difficult to do that when we’re playing Saturday to Tuesday every week. Overall, I think the lads have been great and the international breaks have been brilliant for the players.
“Most times we’ve come back and had a really ‘zest’ about us and I’m hoping this break will be the same.”
Warne on Shrewsbury Town…
“They’ve picked up recently and won 5-0 in midweek, which will give them a right boost. They’ve taken points off some really good teams.
“When we played them at the start of March we were good in the first half, but in the second, they were the better team.
“Every team in this league asks you different questions and no game is easy. You shouldn’t look at the league table to judge a team, because that isn’t how it works.
“They’ve collected a lot of points recently and they’ll come here without fear. We need to have the same mentality and put a performance on that’ll give us the chance of getting a good results.”