Rotherham United: Four games to go ... what does Paul Warne think the Millers need to pin down their top-six spot?

Rotherham United are one win away from securing their place in the League One play-offs, believes manager Paul Warne.

Monday, 16th April 2018, 12:00 am
Paul Warne

The Millers are in fourth spot with only four games left as they head to Gillingham tomorrow after holding leaders Wigan Athletic to a goalless draw at the DW Stadium last Saturday.

Warne says a three-point haul in Kent would mean his men would be all but mathematically certain to be contending for a place in the Championship in the end-of-season shoot-out.

Joe Newell

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“I think, win on Tuesday and we can’t be far off because there aren’t many games left,” the boss said. “There are four games to go and our goal difference is good. You’re asking other teams to win all four of their games.

“I think if we could win on Tuesday that would be sufficient.”

Joe Newell, who had scored and set up two goals in Rotherham’s 3-2 win against Fleetwood Town the previous week, missed out against Wigan because of a quad niggle, but the left winger is in contention to play at Priestfield Stadium.

“Newelly is fit now,” Warne confirmed. “He trained on Monday and had a bit of a sore quad. He didn’t train all week. I got told he was available on Friday, but he didn’t train, so, in my head, he’s not available. It’s the same rule for everyone.

“If he’d played at Wigan and pulled his quad and been out for six weeks, I wouldn’t forgive myself. He’ll be available for Tuesday night for sure.”

Midfielder Richie Towell came off late on in the impressive display against the Latics and his tight back will be monitored.

The Millers are six points clear of the teams just behind them, Scunthorpe United and Plymouth Argyle, and seven in front of the chasing sides just outside of the top six.

They were good value for their point against champions elect Wigan where they were cheered on by 1,269 away supporters.

Joe Newell

“The away following was excellent,” Warne said. “There were times when the lads were on their knees a little bit physically and the fans don’t half help you in times of trouble like that.

“In the last 20 minutes, it looked like everyone had been on the oxygen tank and they all looked great again.”

Warne and his staff will assess their players before deciding on their starting 11 against the Gills who are 16th and have drawn their last three matches.

“There will be some tired legs,” he said. “We’ll see how everyone is. We don’t want to stagger into the play-offs, we want to go into them with some real form and a real swagger.

“We have to pick them up and go again. You can soon go from heroes to zeroes in this league. If we’re fortunate enough to get a win at Gillingham, we’ll be really close to what we’re trying to achieve.”