Matt Hamshaw dubbed Paul Warne “Mr Positive” ... then revealed there’s a dark side to the caretaker manager’s character that makes him an ideal choice to be Rotherham United’s next permanent boss.
Coach Hamshaw has observed Warne in his interim role at close quarters for the last 14 matches at the Championship club who face a Yorkshire derby at home to Huddersfield Town tomorrow night.
And he says the 43-year-old renowned for his man-management skills and sense of humour can turn hardman when he has too.
“What you see with Warney is that positivity. He is Mr Positive,” Hamshaw said. “But he does have that other, tough side, and I think you have to have that as a manager.
Warne laid into his players at half-time when he they turned in a poor first-half performance in last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers.
“From the reaction we got in the second half, you can tell what side got shown at quarter to four,” Hamshaw said. “You need that. He’s got that.”
Fitness coach Warne stepped into the hot-seat in November when Kenny Jackett resigned after just five matches in charge and has stablised the second tier’s bottom side, 14 points adrift of safety, in their hour of need.
He has been handed the reigns until the end of the season when the Millers will assess their options.
“I think he has done a fantastic job,” Hamshaw said. “There have been injuries, unrest and confidence issues within the group, which is understandable given where we are in the league.
“It’s the way he is around the place and how he gets the best out of people. I think he has got all the trademarks of being a manager.
“It’s not my decision. I can speak only on what I see, as an ex-player and now as a member of staff. For me, he has all the tools.
“A manager, for me, is someone who can get the best out of people, who is respected, who has good organisational skills. He ticks all those boxes. He’s had a lot of experience around other managers.
“I think the job is growing on him. He’s got all the traits to do it.”
Tomorrow’s clash sees a return to New York Stadium for former loan star Izzy Brown, and Hamshaw revealed he realised what a special talent the Chelsea 20-year-old was when he worked with him at the Millers’ Roundwood base before his January switch to the Terriers.
“You just get that sense when you see him in training,” Hamshaw said. “He’s the player in training who looks like he has got a little bit more time than everyone else, the player who can glide past people. The lads know it, you know it as a coach.
“We always knew the ability Izzy had and when Warney came in there was a big upturn in his performance levels.
“He frustrated a lot of people because they felt he didn’t work hard enough sometimes in games, but that is when he was in wide areas. Every time Warney selected him, it was in the hole behind the frontman, and I think that is his best position.
“I think he can play as high as he wants to if his mind is on it. Hopefully it’s not on it tomorrow night!”
Captain and midfielder Lee Frecklington is close to a return after ankle surgery but won’t be risked against David Wagner’s promotion-chasing side, while right-back Darnell Fisher and centre-half Aimen Belaid, both pulled-hamstring victims, are back in training but not ready to play.
New centre-half Joel Ekstrand is in contention for a start, Hamshaw confirmed.