Rotherham United: Don't be 'haters' against Ryan Williams
Paul Warne says Rotherham United fans should have no ill-feeling towards Ryan Williams after he decided to join Portsmouth.
Williams turned down the chance to stay Millers this summer in order to stay in the Championship, but he ended up signing for League One Pompey.
News of his move to Kenny Jackett's side, who are expected to challenge for promotion alongside Rotherham this season, was met with some negativity by fans online, but Warne is uneasy at that.
He told the Star: “I don't like the thought of our fans criticising any of our players for leaving.
“The players are here, they get paid to do a job and they give it their best. If they then choose to move on then so be it. You don't have to be 'haters'.
“It's just the way that it is. They're not being offensive to fans personally. He wanted to play in the Championship. You can't blame him for that.
“It probably didn't work out as well as he wanted and he thought that Portsmouth was his best move.
“I sincerely wish him luck, apart from when he plays us.”
Williams' career was handed a lifeline by the Millers two years ago when they signed him following his release from Barnsley, where he spent much of the time injured.
He was instrumental in the club's 2017/18 promotion and then performed well in the first half of last season in the Championship, form which saw him earn a maiden international cap for Australia.
Warne would have liked him to be a key player as the Millers again go for League One promotion but that is not to be.
“I'm disappointed he's gone,” he said. “I spoke to Ryan many times last season about staying on.
“He really wanted to kick-start his international career.
“When I spoke to him, he thought he would have an opportunity in the Championship.
“In fairness, I thought he would as well. However, I know how a lot of people tell stories in football ... 'Yeah, you're definitely on our list.'
“They get the players excited. I knew a couple of Championship clubs who liked him and had spoken to him.
“The player gets his head turned a little bit. That's what's happened. It's that late in the day now that the Championship club he wanted possibly didn't come forward. “Then Portsmouth came forward. I can't put words into his mouth. This is just what I think.”