Rotherham United v Fleetwood Town - Paul Warne welcomes tough festive run for Millers

Rotherham United manager, Paul Warne. Picture: Steve Ellis
Rotherham United manager, Paul Warne. Picture: Steve Ellis
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Paul Warne expects Rotherham United to have a good idea of the task ahead of them to win promotion once the Festive matches are out of the way.

The Millers entertain Fleetwood Town today and although Joey Barton’s team are below them in the table, Warne expects their passing football to provide a real test of his side’s promotion credentials.

BACK IN TRAINING: Rotherham United's Richard Wood. Picture: Marie Caley

BACK IN TRAINING: Rotherham United's Richard Wood. Picture: Marie Caley

“Come January, we’ll definitely know where we are and what we’re missing,” said Warne, whose side are at Shrewsbury Town on Boxing Day, host Peterborough United a week tomorrow, and Blackpool on New Year’s Day.

“We’re playing all the top teams up and around there and it will be a tricky month, but I prefer that.

“We’ve gone into games as the clear favourite which isn’t an easy tag to have but these games, with Fleetwood first, are against teams with some really good players.

“They keep the ball so we’ll have to look at the way that we want to play and impose ourselves.

We’re playing all the top teams up and around there and it will be a tricky month, but I prefer that.

Paul Warne

“We’ve been building it up all week with the lads and we respectfully discuss the opposition and how they play but it is more about how we play and what we want to do and how we can hurt them.

“We’re having a real positive drive this week and hopefully the fans will enjoy watching it.”

Although Fleetwood are ninth in League One, Bury’s expulsion and postponements, particularly for international call-ups, have given the table a disjointed look. They are only a point behind sixth-placed Rotherham with two games in hand.

Warne is a particular fan of defenders Danny Andrew and Lewie Coyle, who is on loan from Leeds United.

“They’ve got a really good team and for me, two of the best full backs in the league,” he said. “They’re really good on set-pieces and good up top.

“They have a bit of experience through the middle of the team and they’ve got a good blend.”

Rotherham’s planning has been hit by an illness which has swept through the camp.

“The problem is there’s 30 of us in the building using the same cups and that so if we do get an illness it goes through us pretty quickly, it’s like a primary school,” explained Warne. “Hopefully we should have at least 16, 17 fit.”

Defender Richard Wood is back in training having been out since early November with a hamstring injury, but will not be considered. Jamie Lindsay is also missing, with his son in hospital in Glasgow.