Paul Warne says giving the Rotherham United fans something to smile about is his proudest achievement as he takes his Millers to Wembley on Sunday.
After a disastrous season in the Championship ended in relegation, Warne’s men can bounce straight back with victory over Paul Hurst’s Shrewsbury in the League One play-off final this weekend.
And manager Warne, who saw his side begin life in the third tier with a 2-0 defeat at Fleetwood, admitted: “If you’d have offered me this after that game, obviously I’d have taken it.
“To finish with a final at Wembley is something that can’t be taken off me and it definitely is an achievement. I am really pleased for a lot of people... it’s just nice after the 12 months of real suffering we had last year.
“It is difficult to be a supporter of a team that never wins and that was us. At least this year we have given the fans something to smile about and be proud of. To get to Wembley is pretty amazing.”
And while Warne sees the trip to Wembley as some payback for the fans, skipper Richard Wood insists it’s a reward for the manager and his assistant, Richie Barker (pictured inset).
“He is a great guy and a Rotherham guy. He loves the club and has got the staff in who are Rotherham people,” Wood said.
“I think that is a massive factor in why we have done so well. Everyone at the club is wanting it to do well. There is so much hard work done off the field in getting things right.
“Richie goes through clips of the other teams and there are meetings after meetings. They do work hard. Wembley is a just reward for them. I am very pleased for them.”
As of 10am today, the Millers had sold 14,000 tickets for Wembley with fans able to secure their seats until 2pm on Saturday. Tickets purchased before the deadline will be available to collect at Wembley, from the west stand ticket office.