Fleetwood Town v Rotherham United: Why Paul Warne remains on edge

WITH his Rotherham United side siting pretty at the top of League One – having been beaten just once in the league since September – you would perhaps expect everything in Paul Warne’s garden to be rosy.

But appearances can sometimes be deceptive.

Rotherham may have no injury problems, but Millers chief Warne has concerns elsewhere.

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One of his leading strikers in transfer-listed Freddie Ladapo is intent upon leaving, while defender Curtis Tilt has been recalled by the club from his loan stint at Wigan and is, in Warne’s words: ‘understandably a bit emotional.’

Rotherham United's Freddie Ladapo: No bids yet.

A number of other Millers players are out of contract in June, with their medium to longer-term futures being uncertain and Warne is also wise to the notion of how hard it is to keep everyone in a fully-fit squad happy with some even missing out on a match-day.

On a testing January, Warne said: “It has been pretty tough. I have never liked transfer windows. We have a really settled camp here and every time there is a window, it is not as settled. Agents earn their money in this window, I understand that.

“Players get a little agitated and a lot of players get to January and if they are not in a team, they are thinking: ‘Well, if I am not in this team, hopefully I can get somewhere else.’ If they don’t get anything suitable, they get a bit down in the dumps and frustrations can come out in different ways.

“I just feel January is very uneasy. If we can get through January unscathed with performances, then I will be very pleased.

“In the last couple of weeks of the summer window, you are always on an edge and the players are on a little bit of an edge and I can feel it now.

“I know there’s a few of my players who are out of contract in the summer who have wives and kids and are having conversations with me and I have got players on the edge of the team who want to get in it.

“There’s just a real unease. I’d love to say: ‘it’s no problem, everything is amazing’, but it’s untrue and it is the same at every club.”

Thus far, there have been no potential takers for Ladapo.

Warne added: “I try and touch base with his agent a lot so I feel like I am ahead of the curve and am really honest with him.

“At the moment, I’m not aware of anything imminent and it’s the same with the other players. But my door gets knocks all the time.

“I was really hopeful of keeping the group together, but wouldn’t be surprised if something happens in the next couple of weeks.”