ROTHERHAM UNITED manager Paul Warne believes the presence of Marcelo Bielsa in the Championship is a big boost for the game in this country.
The Argentinian made history by becoming the first manager in Leeds United’s 99-year lifetime to win his first four games in charge.
Second-half goals from Luke Ayling and Kemar Roofe kept Leeds hot on the heels of early leaders Middlesbrough, who have played a game more than their West Yorkshire rivals.
“Obviously he (Bielsa) is doing well because they are winning football matches,” said Warne, whose Rotherham side caused plenty of problems for Leeds in the first half and should really have led at the break.
“I like him, he is a bit quirky. But I think he is good for football. I am all about different characters. There are sheep and shepherds – and he is definitely a shepherd.
“Sitting down on that thing is a bit weird, though. But apart from that, I like him.”
I want everybody together. It’s the second game at home and we have highlighted it is going to be a tough season.Nigel Adkins
Warne’s last quote was referring to the bucket that Bielsa perches on during games.
The Millers chief added: “When the game started, I can’t lie, I was a little bit nervy and I thought I needed to sit down for a minute (on an ice box in the away dugout). But because he was sitting down and I was sitting down, I was waiting for the press to go: ‘He’s copying him!’ So I thought: ‘I have got to stay stood up’. I jumped up straight away.
“Anyway, his (bucket) looks more comfortable than my ice box. It is a class bit of kit that. I am impressed. He is doing really well here. Long may it continue for Leeds.”
Warne was rightly full of praise for the Millers’ efforts on an afternoon when, had a couple of those first-half opportunities been converted, the final score could have been very different.
“Player for player, they are significantly greater than us,” added Warne. “The way they play is unique. No disrespect, but I don’t remember Walsall playing like that last season in League One.
“So, it is a big step up for my team. But, for large parts of the game, they did it quite well.
“After the game, I said how proud I was of them but also how disappointed I was in equal measure. They had an opportunity to upset the apple cart and put down a marker for our club.
“I need the players to understand how good they can be. They have got to believe they are better than they were at Leeds. They can’t be on the bus thinking: ‘Two-nil is not bad’. To me, 2-0 is bad, as you have lost a game of football when you were level after 45 minutes.
“Maybe we need to create more opportunities. I think the lads will be pretty pleased with their display on the whole but disappointed to come away with nothing.”
Rotherham are in action tomorrow night at home to Hull City, who are still searching for their first league win after slipping to defeat at home to promoted Blackburn Rovers.
Boos, jeers and gestures greeted the Hull players as they went to salute the fans after the 1-0 defeat at the KC Com Stadium. Tigers chief Nigel Adkins said in response: “It’s something I don’t want to have at the football club.
“I want everybody together. It’s the second game at home and we have highlighted it is going to be a tough season.
“It’s going to be challenging and we need everybody together – that’s the players on the pitch, that’s the supporters being with the team. We need to put it all together so, from my point of view, it’s sad that that has happened so early in the season.”
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder insisted there was never a chance of captain Billy Sharp leaving for Sunderland after the striker’s stoppage-time winner against Norwich.
The Black Cats inquired about Sharp before the permanent transfer window closed but Wilder, who hopes to sign a new striker on loan, said: “Billy wasn’t going anywhere. There was an inquiry from Sunderland but he was never going anywhere.
“I didn’t want him to go, he would only have left if he wanted to and he didn’t. I will always be open and up front with players if they want to make that decision.
“Players make decisions and I will always go along with what their views are because it’s their careers as well.
Sheffield Wednesday are still searching for their first win of the Championship campaign after losing 2-0 at Brentford yesterday.
Reports: Pages 2-4