Rotherham United boss applauds "outstanding" player

Paul Warne reckons Billy Jones has already proved he was worth signing after the defender made his first league start for Rotherham at the weekend.

Tuesday, 25th September 2018, 3:07 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th September 2018, 3:12 pm
Millers news

The 31-year-old, who was a free transfer from Sunderland in the summer, was named in Warne's side for the 1-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

It had been a difficult start to life at the Millers for Jones, as he had to play catch-up after missing the club's pre-season tour to Austria and then suffered a thigh injury which allowed Zak Vyner to become first-choice right-back.

But Jones was given the shirt at the City Ground for the first time in the Championship this term and impressed boss Warne, showing all the experience and know-how of a defender who has played over 100 games in the Premier League.

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“I thought he was pretty outstanding to be honest,” Warne purred of Jones' display at Forest.

“He was unlucky with his booking but apart from that he didn't really put a foot wrong.

“You can see why I brought him to the club, there was one clearance when it came to him, he didn't panic, had a great touch and played a great ball forward.

“In the second half every decision he made was right, I'm really pleased for him, he got through the game.

“It will be good for him to get a game in and I will look to see how I go next week.”

Warne also made a change in attack at Forest, with Jamie Proctor making his first league start since August 2017.

While he enjoyed a dream return in the Carabao Cup against Wigan in August, where he scored two goals, his City Ground experience was not as memorable as he was replaced at half-time by Michael Smith.

Warne said the decision was tactical and will always put his team's need over a player's ego.

“I make subs when I see fit and if it will make a positive impact on the team,” Warne added.

“Procs and Smudge are both brilliant number nines but they both have something different and I just thought Smudge might get in behind them more.

“Procs is a great target man and I just thought it would cause them a different problem. As good as Procs was in the first half, Smudge did cause them a different problem, he gave them something different to think about.

“I have no shame in taking players off at half-time if I think it will benefit the team.”