The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Chris Dunlavy

NEW Rother­ham boss Paul Warne has ad­mit­ted he doesn’t have a clue how well his ap­point­ment went down with the fans.

Warne, in care­taker charge since the shock res­ig­na­tion of Kenny Jack­ett in Novem­ber, won just three of his first 23 matches and last week­end over­saw the in­evitable rel­e­ga­tion to League One. But chair­man Tony Ste­wart is con­vinced the 43-year-old is the man to re­vive the Millers and this week handed him a one-year rolling con­tract. The de­ci­sion has re­ceived a luke­warm re­sponse from many sup­port­ers. So, what does Warne, a Rother­ham leg­end who played moe than 250 games for the club, make of their re­ac­tion? “I don’t ac­tu­ally know be­cause I’m too scared to go on twit­ter!” said the for­mer striker. “I’ve had a lot of emails and texts from peo­ple I know, all re­ally pleased that one of their own is in charge.

“But, let’s face it, they are bi­ased. Like any man­age­rial ap­point­ment, I pre­sume there’ll be a mi­nor­ity – or even a ma­jor­ity – of fans who wanted some­one else.


“It’s not that I think they don’t like me. I just think they would have pre­ferred a new face. I un­der­stand that be­cause of the run we’re on, and if I was in their po­si­tion I’d prob­a­bly have the same doubts.

“But loads of peo­ple have taken over here with no track record and been suc­cess­ful.

“All I can do is put a good squad to­gether and, if they do well, then I’m sure peo­ple will be won over.”

Ste­wart has promised Warne a healthy bud­get to re­build for League One, with for­mer Miller Ben Pringle among those al­ready on his radar.

As for the rest, Warne says at­ti­tude is more im­por­tant than abil­ity.

“Un­for­tu­nately, these lads have been psy­cho­log­i­cally dam­aged,” he added. “There’s no dis­put­ing that. But there are some gems in that group.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a mas­sive clearout, more a chance to reeval­u­ate and re­or­gan­ise.

“We’ve been in the Cham­pi­onship for a cou­ple of years now and we brought in a lot of play­ers who were ei­ther in­ex­pe­ri­enced or the wrong side of 30.

“We need young, en­er­getic play­ers with some­thing to prove, who think it’s a priv­i­lege to play for this great club.

“If that’s from the lower leagues, even Non-League, then so be it. I’m not a foot­ball snob.

“I’ve spo­ken to a few and I’ve told them what to ex­pect in pre­sea­son. It’ll be bru­tal. I’ll try and break them, SAS style. Not just for the phys­i­cal­ity of it but for men­tal strength.

“Some­times, peo­ple for­get how much you need that when things aren’t go­ing well and 15,000 peo­ple are on your back.

“We’ll eat to­gether, have meet­ings, train in the af­ter­noons and do in­di­vid­ual work.

“I want a com­pletely dif­fer­ent phi­los­o­phy here. I want to bring a bit of pride and vi­brancy back.”

Warne, who will spend 16 days in Belfast start­ing his coach­ing badges, said in Fe­bru­ary he was am­biva­lent about tak­ing a per­ma­nent post in the dugout, fear­ing his stand­ing among Millers fans could be dam­aged. So what changed?

“Noth­ing re­ally,” he said. “It’s not that I’ve had a great swing from hat­ing it to lov­ing it. And I’m un­der no il­lu­sions that it will be a very tough job.


“It’ll prob­a­bly be the big­gest chal­lenge of my life, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have a go. I’d rather be a brave fail­ure than some­one who looks back with re­gret. I still don’t see my­self be­ing a ‘ca­reer’ man­ager.

“I don’t see my­self be­ing here for two years and then go­ing some­where else.

“It’s just that this is my club. If I hadn’t taken the job and they’d got some­one in who didn’t know the club, it might have been bril­liant. But it might have been a dis­as­ter, and I’d have felt re­spon­si­ble for that.

“So I’ll give it a go. I know the con­se­quences of fail­ure. What­ever hap­pens, I be­lieve I’ll pass the club on in a bet­ter state .”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Images

MY CLUB: Paul Warne says no-one cares more for Rother­ham. Inset, ac­tion from last week­end’s game against Ful­ham which saw the Millers lose and go down

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