Sunderland v Rotherham United: Black Cats prevent Paul Warne resting on his laurels

IN an ideal world, Paul Warne says he would have preferred to have basked in the glow of Rotherham United’s fine six-goal weekend blitzing of Bolton Wanderers for a little bit longer.

Rotherham United's Kyle Vassell: On the way back.
Rotherham United's Kyle Vassell: On the way back.

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But such is EFL life that the Millers chief has had precious little time to savour Saturday’s relieving 6-1 success over Wanderers, with a trip to Sunderland quickly commanding his attention. Warne said: “If I am probably being selfish, if we win, I like to have a week to think we are good!

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“If you lose, you like to have a quick Tuesday game to put that to bed.

“I had about half-an-hour feeling good (on Saturday) before stressing about the next one.”

Warne is under no illusions about the extent of the task that his Millers line-up will face at the Stadium of Light against a Black Cats side who have lost just once on Wearside in 2019.

On an exacting examination at Sunderland, where the Millers have not won in nine visits since a 2-1 victory in November, 1959, Warne added: “They are competitive and were unfortunate not to go up last year.

“They will have all learned from that, no doubt, and improved and they have had some good wins this season already.

“They are mobile, fit and organised and it will be a good test as it is against most teams in League One. But they have a bit more quality than most teams.

“But our away performances, in my opinion, have been better than our home performances, so we can look forward to the game.”

The game comes too soon for forward Kyle Vassell, although he is making considerable progress in his rehabilitation from a hamstring problem.

“We are getting the players back slowly, but surely,” the Millers chief continued. “In the game on Saturday, I could have done with Che (Chiedozie Ogbene) out there and we had to play Wilesy (Ben Wiles) out there and it might be the same again.

“But we might have to shuffle the pack. I like playing with wide men, but we have only got one fit one at the minute.”

Last six games: Sunderland WWWWLW; Rotherham WWLDLW.

Referee: B Toner (Lancashire).

Last time: Sunderland 4 Rotherham 1, February 22, 2005; Championship.