Rotherham United: Paul Warne wary of threat posed by Millers flop George Hirst

Rotherham boss Paul Warne has been in football long enough to know exactly what could happen when George Hirst returns to the club on Saturday.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 10:22 am

The former Sheffield Wednesday striker spent last season on loan with the Millers in the Championship, but failed to score in 32 games.

It was a loan move that promised much for the former Owls wonder kid, but ended up in him being sent back to Leicester early after looking out of his depth.

The 22-year-old joined Portsmouth on a season-long loan in the summer in a bid to further his development, but he has endured a slow start on the south coast too, failing to score in his first nine games.

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George Hirst of Rotherham United and Liam Palmer of Sheffield Wednesday battle for the ball during the Sky Bet Championship match between Rotherham United and Sheffield Wednesday at AESSEAL New York Stadium on October 28, 2020 in Rotherham, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Warne, and many Rotherham fans, will fear how the script might pan out on Saturday.

"I don't wish George any ill but obviously I don't want to see him come on and belt a winner in, which he is more than capable of doing," Warne said. "It adds a little bit more to the game.

“I don't know if he will start or play a part in it because I can't speak for (Portsmouth boss) Danny Cowley and what he is planning to do, but I have worked in the past with managers who would 100 per cent play George against us."

The Millers face a potential season-defining month of fixtures as they try and consolidate their position in the promotion race.

Following Portsmouth's visit they play Wycombe, Sunderland and Charlton.

Warne said: “I’m not in the habit of setting points targets, or anything like that. They are all tough games for different reasons.

“You look at Wycombe for example, if you finish near them this season you’ll have had a really good year.

“There are some really big clubs and some big hitters like Wycombe who are really prepared for League One.

“Portsmouth had a great win over Sunderland and will come into the game with real confidence.

“These next two games are hard and MK Dons are in good form themselves.

“It’ll be a hard run of fixtures, but these are the games we want to all play in.”