Rotherham United expect to appoint an assistant manager in a matter of days after confirming Paul Warne as their new permanent boss this afternoon.
Warne, who had been in interim charge since November, has signed a one-year rolling contract and will lead the Millers in League One next season following their relegation from the Championship.
“The next thing is a new No 2, which is very important,” chairman Tony Stewart told The Star. “There are plans afoot for that. I can’t reveal anything because of circumstances. We’re well in front on that.
“There should be an appointment within days; before the end of the season, definitely. As soon as the circumstances evolve, I will be revealing very quickly who it is.”
Former Millers player Richie Barker, now assistant boss at League One Charlton Athletic, has been heavily linked to the post.
Stewart revealed why Rotherham opted for Warne, aged 43, who played for the club for the majority of his career before becoming fitness coach.
“He’s a Rotherham United lad. All the managers I have had, and I’ve had a few, have revered his motivational skills and dedication,” he said. “We didn’t want a knee-jerk appointment when Kenny Jackett left after 39 days in November so Paul has had the last 23 games. He has held the team together.
“He has enjoyed it perhaps more than he has let on to the media - not the losses we have had, obviously, but the involvement. Lots of other managers put their hat in the ring but Paul was the board’s unanimous choice. He is a Rotherham United man through and through. He has always given 110 per cent and he will demand the same from his players.
“It wasn’t hard to make a decision. We either pick a guy from the carousel who has been round and round and been sacked three or four times or we give an opportunity to someone who has the DNA of Rotherham United. It just seemed natural that he should be the next manager. I feel good about it, the board feel good about it and Paul feels excited about it.”
Supporters like and respect Warne but many are questioning the decision to give the job to him when he presided over 19 defeats in his 23-match caretaker spell and has no track record in management.
“People say Paul doesn’t have the experience and I understand that,” Stewart said. “But life, football, it’s a risk. It’s a calculated risk. He’s an intelligent guy and intelligent guys tend to know what they’re doing. They think it through.
“Look at the guy at Bournemouth, Eddie Howe. He had no previous experience as a manager and look what he has achieved there.
“Paul’s had his anxieties. We all hurt on a weekend when we don’t win games. But he’s come through that. He wanted the job and we wanted to give him the job. We’ll give him the support that he needs.”
When The Star asked Stewart if other candidates had been interviewed, the chairman said: “I don’t want to go into the details behind recruitment. All I’m saying is, Paul was the unanimous choice of the board. There were other considerations, but Paul Warne outweighed those other considerations.”
Warne said: “I am deeply honoured and proud to become the permanent manager of this great club.
“It is now a tremendous privilege to have been tasked with the responsibility of leading the club I hold closest to my heart. Rest assured I will be doing everything possible to bring success back to New York Stadium.”