Rotherham United: Will Warne spend if Kieffer doesn't come back?
Paul Warne hopes he will be given the green light to spend if Rotherham United miss out on top transfer target Kieffer Moore and have to look elsewhere for a striker.
The League One Millers have a bid in for the Ipswich Town frontman who scored 13 goals during a 25-game loan spell at AESSEAL New York Stadium before being recalled at the start of this month.
But Moore may end up elsewhere, with rival third-tier sides chasing his signature and clubs from the Championship showing interest, and that could free up the funds earmarked for the 25-year-old hitman.
“If I can’t get him, I’d like to think the money is there to get another one in,” manager Warne said.
Rotherham have won four and drawn two of their last six matches to move to within a point and a place of the play-off spots, reducing the pressure on Warne to act in the transfer window.
But the boss, who has said in the past he expects most of his business in the January window to be loan deals, acknowledges the need to add to his options up front.
“Since Jerry (Yates) came into the team at half-time at Blackpool, he has injected some energy,” this boss said. “He and Bally (David Ball) have made everyone else run around that bit more.
“That’s not to say I don’t need another striker. I think I do. I need another targetman. We’re a much stronger squad with Kieffer in it. If I can’t get Kieffer, I’ll have to get a similar player.
“There is a lot around each of the signings that you have to be patient for. We don’t need a lot. I just have to make sure that the ones we bring in, if any, improve us in the way I want them to.”
The Millers have drawn up a shortlist of potential recruits they can pursue if Moore doesn’t return to New York.
Warne rewarded his players with a long weekend off after watching them take 10 points from a possible 12 over the hectic festive schedule and paid tribute to their resolve.
“In the last six games, we have been losing in four and we have come back to win two and draw two - one of them with 10 men (against Plymouth Argyle when Richard Wood was sent off),” he said.
“Everyone is a bit jaded. We’ve been in a couple of days this week and I’ve given them an elongated weekend where they can go and spend time with their families and just get away from the football club.
“Then we’ll come back again and train. Then it’s four and a bit to five months if we’re lucky to really have a go at it and see where it takes us.
“I have a lot of confidence in the team and they have a lot of confidence in themselves. Character is key. If you have a really good dressing room and togetherness, then it is worth 10 points a season.
“I am not saying we have got the most talented squad in the league but they are really fighting for each other and picking up points. They have done really well and the more positive results they get, the more they trust each other.”
The Millers, who head to Oldham Athletic on Saturday after their free weekend, have shipped fewer goals in recent weeks and Warne is impressed by the form of goalkeeper Marek Rodak during the unbeaten run.
“I think Marek has been excellent,” Warne said. “He has had a long run in the team now and that has helped him.”
Meanwhile, winger Anthony Forde has joined the calls for Moore to come back to Rotherham.
“I’d love it,” he said. “He’s been brilliant for us. When he came on at Walsall (2-1 away win on December 30), you can see what a threat he is for us.
“It would be great if he was still here. He’s an excellent player.”