Paul Warne has called for his Rotherham United team to go down with all guns blazing as the curtain draws on their three-year stay in the Championship.
The division’s bottom club are 16 points from safety with only 12 matches to play, but the caretaker manager believes the Millers can lay down a marker for next year between now and the end of the campaign.
“I’ve asked the players to just go out and play, give the crowd some entertainment,” Warne said. “Play like, I don’t know, a Kevin Keegan side. Score goals, be attacking, enjoy playing football. It’s a great job.
“If you’re here next season and we manage to get a bit of impetus to take into next season, then great.”
Keegan famously managed the Newcastle United side which was renowned for all-out attack and came close to beating Manchester United to the 1996 Premier League title.
Rotherham are at home to Aston Villa on Saturday, having recovered some pride in last Saturday’s 4-2 defeat at Brentford after being drubbed 5-0 away to Cardiff City the week before.
The Millers were drawing 2-2 in time added on at Griffin Park before the Bees scored from the penalty spot and then added a fourth goal with the last real kick of the game.
“I just think against Brentford the lads really showed a desire to play for this great club,” Warne said.
The interim boss, admitted he had felt “humiliated” by events in South Wales against a Bluebirds side managed by Neil Warnock, the boss who kept Rotherham up against the odds last term.
“Last week, if I’m honest, was my hardest week at the job,” Warne said.
“I was humiliated possibly, a bit embarrassed. I did have a weaker side out. I had three of my best players out.”
The 43-year-old expects the mood in the Millers camp to be lighter as they prepare for the visit of Villa who find themselves in the wrong half of the table despite having one of the second tier’s biggest budgets.
“It will be an easier week this week,” he said. “I will show the players all their good bits from Brentford and I want them to take credit from that.”