Rotherham United: Warne could be tempted by permanent manager’s role

Paul Warne
Paul Warne
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Paul Warne has for the first time opened the door to him staying on as Rotherham United boss next season.

The caretaker manager, who this week appointed ex-Nottingham Forest man Ross Burbeary as fitness coach to the end of the season, has been in interim charge since November and will continue until the close of the Championship campaign in May.

And the 43-year-old finally admitted that he could be prepared to step into the role on a permanent basis if that’s what chairman Tony Stewart wants.

“I’ve always said I’d do it for as long as the chairman wants me to,” he said. “If we have a chat and he endorses the fact he thinks I’m the best man for the job - and if I think I’m the best man for the job; at the moment, I’m not sure - then I’d do it.

“All I want is for this club to do well. If someone has got a person who can come in and do a better job than me, then I’d endorse that.

“My views haven’t changed a great deal. From day one, I said I didn’t see myself as a full-time manager. I possibly still think that.”

Warne has been fitness coach since the reign of Steve Evans and has been given assurances by Stewart he can return to that position if he doesn’t remain as boss.

“It’s always nice to be employment so I’m well happy the chairman has said that,” he grinned. “My kids can eat and have new shoes.”

Burbeary has taken over fitness duties while Warne concentrates on managing the first team.

“He worked at Nottingham Forest for a few years. Recently he has been in Buffalo in the States,” Warne said.

“I sort of know him from before. He contacted me and he lives locally, so it is a no-brainer. I need all hands on deck. I have probably spread myself a bit too thin recently, so he is a handy addition.

“He is on a weekly contract until the end of the season and we’ll see where we go from there.”

Sheffield-based Burbeary has also worked for Sheffield Wednesday and Doncaster Rovers, as well as for ice-hockey teams.

Bottom club Rotherham are at home tomorrow to Blackburn Rovers, who are also in the drop zone, and will be without captain and midfielder Lee Frecklington who is still recovering from ankle surgery.

But fellow midfield man Tom Adeyemi returns after illness, while new centre-half Joel Ekstrand is ready for a squad place after his first full week of training with the Millers.

Central defender Semi Ajayi was struggling towards the end of last week’s match at Bristol City, but he trained yesterday and is expected to be fit.

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