Rotherham United: Millers boss Warnock plans May talks with Stewart

Neil Warnock
Neil Warnock
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Survival saviour Neil Warnock will decide his Rotherham United future at a meeting with chairman Tony Stewart next month.

The two men are waiting until the end of the season before holding serious discussions about the man who has masterminded the Millers’ Championship safety push staying on.

Lee Frecklington

Lee Frecklington

“I’ve spoken to the chairman and we’ve agreed that we’ll get together and talk about it in May,” revealed boss Warnock, who has stated his intention to remain in management for another year.

Rotherham are unbeaten in ther last nine matches and could seal their second-tier status tomorrow night at home to Huddersfield Town. They finish their campaign at Hull City on May 7, and fans would be delighted if Warnock committed himself to the club beyond then.

He was appointed on a short-term contract in February with a mission to keep the club up. Six wins and three draws in nine matches have seen his side march out of the drop zone and almost guarantee their safety already as they stand nine points clear of the drop zone with four matches left to play.

The 67-year-old has set the Millers a target of remaining undefeated for the rest of the campaign, and he faces ones of his former clubs at AESSEAL New York Stadium tomorrow.

“Nine unbeaten now. I want to go 13 games unbeaten by the end of the season,” he declared. “Huddersfield had a good win on Saturday so they are more or less safe.

“I’m looking forward to it. I had a few years there that were fantastic for me.”

The Millers’ run tops the eight-match unbeaten Championship sequence recorded by Ronnie Moore’s side in the 2003/2004 season and is their best at this level since their 10-match streak under Emlyn Hughes in 1981.

Rotherham, in 21st place, could climb as high as 16th if they win tomorrow and other results go their way.

Midfield man Lee Frecklington, nursing a calf niggle, again defied medical advice to play his part before being substituted in last Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Nottingham Forest which maintained the large gap between the Millers and third-bottom MK Dons.

“The medical people, obviously, were against him playing,” Warnock said. “I had a chat with him, similar to when he came back against Brentford (on February 27), and said: ‘I don’t want you playing if there is any doubt about you pulling it.’

“We gave him a session on Friday after his hot-water bottles were on his calf and he didn’t feel it. It only stiffened up against Forest for 10 or 15 minutes in the second half. As a precaution before the game, we’d said: ‘Come off if it stiffens up.’

“I wouldn’t write him off for Tuesday.”

Warnock and Forest caretaker boss Paul Williams agreed a draw was a fair result.

“It was an even game. First half, tactically we were slightly amiss and we were glad to get to half-time,” the Millers manager said.

“We changed two or three things at half-time. We were a lot better in the second half. We restricted their strengths quite a lot and we looked more dominant going forward.

“We are coming into games and getting stronger during games, and that’s not a bad thing to have.”

Defender Stephen Kelly has called for Warnock to remain at New York and says he would be happy to extend his own deal which runs out at the end of the season.

“I think everyone at the club wants Neil and his team to stay,” the 32-year-old right-back said. “What they have done in their short time here is unbelievable. All the lads are loving playing for them.

“We’re organised, we all know our jobs, they’ve made us hard to beat and we’re full of confidence.

“I’d be open to staying. I’m playing every week and feel like I’m contributing, so everything is good at the minute.”

Click here for Paul Davis’ match verdict and Neil Warnock’s reaction