Rotherham United: Opening Championship fixtures '˜could have been tougher' for newly-promoted Millers, admits boss Paul Warne

Boss Paul Warne has admitted Rotherham United's opening run of fixtures for their Championship return could have been tougher.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 21st June 2018, 2:07 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th June 2018, 11:12 am
Rotherham United manager Paul Warne with assistant Richie Barker.
 Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe
Rotherham United manager Paul Warne with assistant Richie Barker. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe

The Millers have avoided the big-spending heavy hitters early on and travel to Brentford on the opening day.

Warne will host Rotherham old boy Paul Hurst, now at Ipswich Town, in their first home game before travelling to Leeds United for a big Yorkshire clash.

The club end August with back-to-back games at the AESSAL New York Stadium against Hull City and Millwall respectively.

Warne said: “If there is a kind set of fixtures in the Championship then that’s it, they could have been a lot worse put it that way.

“We’re well aware that it’s brilliant for us to get back and it’s made it more real with the fixtures coming out.

“The end of season doesn’t looks generous, but you look at the fixtures now and you’re not sure what form you will play any of those teams in.

“We could all sit here and say who we think will finish top five, but we don’t know.

“You can’t put too much into it, but it’s an exciting time and fans will start booking hotels and things like that.”

Rotherham are the bookies’ favourites to get relegated and if the Millers are near the drop zone towards the end of the season then their run in is far from ideal.

In the last eight games, which begins at Derby County and finishes against Middlesbrough, the Millers take on all three of the relegated Premier League sides as well as play-off finalists Aston Villa.

Born and bred in Norwich, games against the Canaries excite Warne as well as trying to get one over rivals Ipswich Town.

After beating Hurst’s Shrewsbury in the play-off final, Hurst became Warne’s “biggest enemy in the world” by taking the Portman Road job.

And Warne said: “I’m a Norwich lad so the Norwich game is massive for me home and away.

“Ipswich as well because all my mates who are Norwich fans text me ‘good luck’ so they’re always big games.

“Obviously now Hursty’s my biggest enemy in the world because he’s taken the Ipswich job which is a big sin.

“To play Hursty the first home game is probably written in the stars.

“The last time we played him at home I tried not to make too much of a deal about him being a Rotherham legend. He beat me with a last-minute goal, it killed me, it was disgusting.”

Over the festive period the Millers travel to Bolton Wanderers on Boxing Day, before hosting Preston North End on New Year’s Day.