Paul Warne sees reasons to be cheerful for Rotherham United

Paul Warne on the touchline during Tuesday night's clash at the Stadium of Light. Picture: Fran Reid.
Paul Warne on the touchline during Tuesday night's clash at the Stadium of Light. Picture: Fran Reid.
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PROMISE and sunshine was Rotherham United manager Paul Warne’s assessment of his side’s character-fuelled point at Sunderland.

That terminology could also easily apply to the impact of recent signing Jake Hastie, who is busy vanquishing memories of a summer which saw the club’s wing options decimated by a quartet of departures and recruitment to bring in replacements prove onerous.

GET IN: Rotherham's Jake Hastie celebrates his goal 'at the Stadium of Light against Sunderland. Picture:  Frank Reid

GET IN: Rotherham's Jake Hastie celebrates his goal 'at the Stadium of Light against Sunderland. Picture: Frank Reid

Thankfully, patience has proved a virtue for the Millers, with their move to bring in Rangers loanee Hastie at the end of the window looking a particularly inspired one - moreso given his handsome return of three goals in successive games.

The latest arrived when he lashed home a fine second-half equaliser in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light, with manager Paul Warne’s smile at the impact of his newcomer being a broad one.

Warne said: “I like wingers and I have him and Chieo (Chiedozie Ogbene) in the building now, which is good.

“He (Hastie) has hit the ground running, although he tires up all the time, bless him as he has not played a proper 90 minutes since April.

I like wingers and I have him and Chieo (Chiedozie Ogbene) in the building now, which is good. He (Hastie) has hit the ground running, although he tires up all the time, bless him as he has not played a proper 90 minutes since April.

Rotherham boss Paul Warne

“But he took his goal really well and was a threat and got the full-back booked early on and they had to take him off as he was causing problems.

“Freddie (Ladapo) also did really well ahead of the game and laid it off and it was a good finish. We came away from home with a point and I do not think anyone can complain.

“Freddie and Carlton (Morris) were excellent.”

Rotherham’s wait for a first win on Wearside since 1959 may have continued, but handling some first-half adversity - which saw the hosts take the lead after just 31 seconds and also be awarded a penalty - to secure a precious point at the fourth-placed hosts was akin to the restorative qualities that teams receive from a win.

Rotherham's Joe Mattock challenges Lynden Gooch during Tuesday night's clash at the Stadium of Light. Picture: Frank Reid.

Rotherham's Joe Mattock challenges Lynden Gooch during Tuesday night's clash at the Stadium of Light. Picture: Frank Reid.

Following Saturday’s 6-1 drubbing of Bolton, it should put the Millers in a psychologically strong place ahead the weekend home game with Shrewsbury Town as Warne acknowledged.

Warne, who is hopeful that Kyle Vassell will be in fray on Saturday, added: “I think the lads will get a lot of belief from this and it will add to the lads’ confidence, which is a good thing.

“We have 12 new signings with an average age of 23 and they are not going to (all) hit the ground running. But there are signs we are improving and hopefully with the games in hand, we can push nearer the top.

“We were pleased to get in at half-time at 1-0 and Dan (Iversen) made a save from a penalty which was a big turning point.

“A gee-up was a nice way to put it. The centre-halves were not winning headers, which is unlike them. But in the second half, they were a lot better.

“We were a lot more advanced up the pitch and our front two caused them problems and overall, a point away from home is always good, especially at places like this.

“It showed the character we have and we did not collapse.”

Specifically on the contribution of Leicester City loanee Iversen, the Millers chief continued: “Polly (Mike Pollitt - goalkeeping coach) wanted him above anyone else and you can see why. He has got a real presence.

“Pricey (Lewis Price), my number two, is a good keeper and pushes him a lot. He is a lovely kid and is really friendly and enjoys the lads and so far, we are really pleased with him.”