Rotherham United: Paul Warne pledges big changes for Leasing.com Trophy clash

Rotherham United boss Paul Warne is not relishing his side's Leasing.com Trophy opener against Manchester United U21s on Tuesday.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 05 August, 2019, 16:52
Billy Jones is struggling with a heel injury

The Millers kick-off their Group H campaign against United's youngsters just three days after their League One season began.

The fixture was brought forward owing to United's European commitments in September and Warne admits he is not thrilled at having a midweek fixture.

“I am not looking forward to it, I would rather have a few days of training,” the boss admitted. “I would be lying if I said I was looking forward to it, but that is what I get paid for.

“I have got to pick the lads up, brush them down Monday and we will do what we always do, see what we need to improve on.

“We will change the team considerably, and try and be competitive on Tuesday night. There will be big changes, that was my intention before Saturday, regardless of the result.

“My lads are fit but the first day in a lot of heat has taken it out of the players, so if I don't need to use them all on Tuesday I won't.”

While the competition is exactly looked upon fondly by supporters, Warne enjoys the possibility of giving his fringe players game time.

“Last time we were in this I really enjoyed it, it allowed all of my peripheral players to get a game and in the end we didn't go through because Man City lost to Chesterfield on penalties or something crazy,” he said.

“We will prepare for it in the same way and I want to win the game that is for sure, I don't want to lose in front of the home crowd.

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“I don't think the changes I will make will make us considerably weaker, it will just freshen us up.”

Billy Jones will not be one of those who gets a game as he is struggling with a heel injury.

The right-back picked up the problem in pre-season and is still troubled by it.

“Billy, I don't know when he is going to be available yet,” Warne added.

“I don't think it's long term but it isn't getting better, it is like a soreness in his heel when he runs, so that could last a day or six months, I don't honestly know.

“He has been scanned, it's not a massive issue, but he is still getting pain and obviously with Trevor (Clarke) being out, if something happens to a full-back I am putting a centre-half at full-back.

“We definitely need some cover at the back and it's only day one.

“It's evident we need something and we have three and half weeks left so we have enough time to hopefully get something done.”