Rotherham United: Warne on the Millers’ promotion run-in ... ‘We’ll try to win all 13’

Paul Warne
Paul Warne
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High-flying Rotherham United can afford only a single slip-up in their bid to gatecrash the automatic promotion places in League One, believes boss Paul Warne.

The Millers are on a 13-match unbeaten run and downed then-leaders Shrewsbury Town away from home last weekend.

Warne reckons his fourth-placed side, who have won their last six games, must triumph in all but one of their 13 remaining fixtures to have any chance of finishing in the top two.

“You have to win about 12 out of 13 and then still hope the ones above you lose,” he said.

Rotherham are four points behind third-placed Wigan Athletic, who have three matches in hand, six adrift of second-placed Shrewsbury and seven short of table-toppers Blackburn Rovers.

Warne, preparing his squad for Saturday’s AESSEAL New York Stadium derby with Doncaster Rovers, hailed the spirit of his squad who haven’t lost since early December and have scored in 26 consecutive matches.

Richard Wood

Richard Wood

“They’re an amazing bunch of gentlemen,” he said. “They keep winning and they get a bit more belief each time.

“There are 13 more games to go and we’ll try to win every game. They’re a brilliant group. You can see it. They all run around for each other. They’re determined to win. If someone wins a free-kick, they’re all patting him on the back. They’re a joy to manage.

“All we can do is keep winning and try to cement a place in the play-offs. If we play like this, we’ll be a challenge for most teams.”

The Millers have their fingers crossed that Joe Mattock will be fit for the Doncaster clash after the left-back missed the 1-0 victory over the Shrews because of a hamstring injury suffered eight days ago in the 3-1 home win against Oxford United.

“Hopefully, he’ll be available,” Warne said. “He’s got just below a grade-one tear. It should take a week, 10 days at the most.”

Centre-half Semi Ajayi twice appeared to be struggling with a leg complaint in the second half against Shrewsbury but has suffered no lasting effects.

“He’s fine,” Warne said. “No issues there.”

Skipper Wood bagged the winner at New Meadow and is loving partnering Ajayi at the heart of a Rotherham defence that has kept four clean sheets in its last half a dozen outings.

“Semi and I complement each other,” he said. “A team needs a strong base. We need to play well together every week. We understand each other’s movements. We each know what the other is going to do. It’s a good level of understanding and should only get better.

“The lads are brilliant. The gaffer is always talking about good human beings, and they all are. Confidence is sky high.”

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