Rotherham United: Paul Warne hopeful that duo will return for Ipswich Town clash

Rotherham hope to have Kyle Vassell and Matt Crooks available for their top-of-the-table clash with Ipswich.

Monday, 27th January 2020, 4:51 pm
Rotherham United's Kyle Vassell during the pre-season friendly match at the AESSEAL New York Stadium, Rotherham. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday July 27, 2019. See PA story SOCCER Rotherham. Photo credit should read: Richard Sellers/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.

Both men missed Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Peterborough, a result which saw the Tractor Boys replace the Millers at the summit of League One.

Vassell missed out with a calf issue, and watched the game from the away end at London Road, while Crooks left the squad on the morning of the match following the death of his best friend Jordan Sinnott.

Sinnott, a midfielder for Matlock Town, was attacked on Friday night and passed away.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Crooks posted heartfelt message on Twitter on Sunday.

“We knew earlier in the week that Vass was going to struggle,” Warne said of his absence at the weekend.

“He should be OK for Tuesday night which is good news.

"Crooksy's personal issue was at 11am in the team hotel. He jumped in a taxi and went home. Our thoughts are with him.

"I want my best players available.

“If Crooksy's back and Vass is back, even if I don't start them they are better options off the bench. I don't mean that rudely to anyone.

"They have been pivotal to our recent run of form, Crooksy especially. Vass has been crucial in the last few games. Vass should be all right, which is good news."

Striker Jerry Yates could be involved again after he came on as a substitute at Peterborough.

By playing for the Millers it means that if he is to leave again this month – which boss Warne says in an option – it can only be back to Swindon, where he spent the first half of the season.

"I'll make a decision early this week," the boss said. "I think I know what's happening.

"I'll have another chat with Jerry and another chat with Swindon.

“I've got to do what's right for our club but I've got to have a committed player."

Warne is relishing the encounter on Tuesday night and is looking forward to being the hunter instead of the hunted.

Warne said: “It's second versus first and we're the underdogs, which is always a joy for my players because it suits their mentality. A s a Norwich fan beating Ipswich is always a win-win for me.”