The promoted Millers have a recent history of yo-yoing between the second and third tiers, and with a number of Championship novices, it is no great surprise they recently went on a six-match winless run. Victory last Saturday means they are three points above the relegation zone ahead of tonight’s trip to Blackburn Rovers.
By Warne’s estimation Rotherham ought to be “five or six” points better off after 18 matches, but the mood was good even before beating Bristol City 2-0.
“There’s no sulking, I don’t see any arguing in the dressing room, I don’t see people banging my door down saying they’ve been treated unfairly and the lads are disappointed they weren’t picking up points,” he says.
“I just don’t see any negativity around the place.
“We’re probably five or six points below what we should have collected but it should give the lads loads of confidence.
“We’ve recruited the best players we can get, they give it their all every week and train really hard. Quelle surprise sometimes we under-perform. The consistency is the hardest thing with this amount of games.
“At our best we can compete with anyone, however when we’re not at our best collecting points is very difficult. In League One, if we’re not at our best we can still win, in the Championship we’re not even getting a point.”
Warne’s approach is to try to be positive.
“Some of the players do need more reassurance,” he points out. “There are some players who probably have a lot more belief now and some who have not been in the team are training really well, so it does feel like a good place but I’m a pretty half-full kind of a guy, so I would say that.
“There are other teams in the Championship bigger and brighter than us who go on similarly bad runs. You don’t want to talk it up too much because the lads think, ‘Well hang on, we lost two away games but we lost by one goal. It isn’t that bad, gaffer.’
“You want the lads to go out with full confidence and if you go on about how we really need this win, you’re putting unnecessary pressure on them so I’ve never done that. But I did say to them at the start of the season if we’re at our best every week we’ll be looking up the table.”
With Trevor Clarke injuring his back Warne has said he may not be able to name a full nine-strong substitutes bench but Mickel Miller has trained after illness and should be involved.
Last six games: Blackburn Rovers LLDWWW; Rotherham United WLLLDL
Referee: J Gillett (Merseyside)
Last time: Blackburn Rovers 1 Rotherham United 1, November 10, 2018, Championship.
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