Rotherham United: Warne hopes Christmas Day gift to players will be returned in kind on Boxing Day

Rotherham manager Paul Warne is hoping his Christmas generosity will be rewarded with a Boxing Day win at Bolton.

Monday, 24th December 2018, 9:11 am
Updated Tuesday, 8th January 2019, 4:03 pm
Joe Mattock is an injury doubt for the Millers against Bolton

While Christmas Day is a normal working day for many footballers across the country, Warne told his squad not to come in and to enjoy the festivities with their families.

The Millers return to work for the vital Championship clash at the Macron Stadium against a team in the bottom three and Warne hopes giving his side the day off will work in his favour.

'I don't have them in on Christmas Day, never have,' he said.

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'I have had it as a player and a coach, I regard it as a family day.

'However, the lads know I give them that day off because I expect a certain level effort on Boxing Day.

'That is how I do it, I am not saying it is right or wrong. If we lose people will say I should have had them in but if we win I am an absolute genius. That's the way I am.'

Warne will be sweating on the fitness of left-back Joe Mattock for the game across the M62 after he came off with a heel injury in Saturday's 4-0 loss to West Brom.

'Joe Mattock came off with a crack, he said his heel was sore,' Warne revealed. 'Ryan Manning can play left-back, though he is the most attacking left-back I have ever seen, but he did well when he went there.

'Joe will definitely be a doubt because came off the pitch, but at the moment I don't know.'

Bolton have lost 10 of their last 13 games and are beset by off-the-field problems, so on paper the Millers might not have a better chance to end their away-day drought.

But Warne will not be under-estimating them.

'I don't think there is any bad team in this league at all,' he said. 'We don't go into any game with any illusions about who we are playing.

'They are an established Championship team. I think we are doing really well and they are not far from us, so there is no way we will under-estimate anyone in this league.

'We will go into the Bolton game full of positivity and energy, I was able to freshen the pack a little bit and shake it up and it will allow me to do it again on Boxing Day.

'We'll be able to go into the game with a smile on our face, it's Christmas.'