Rotherham United boss Paul Warne experiencing different kind of management

PAUL WARNE is quick to appreciate the irony.

His Rotherham United side have not had a fixture in 58 days and he has not seen his players for a number of weeks at the club’s training ground either, but he has never been busier.

His working days are long and have left him ‘exhausted’ by the end of it. At least, he is getting to bed at a decent hour – and there are no lengthy trips back after fixtures away from home or games he has watched.

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The Millers chief told The Yorkshire Post: “It sounds stupid, but I am exhausted by the end of the day as I am talking all day.

Kept apart: Rotherham United manager Paul Warne, right, and assistant Richie Barker.

“I am going to bed earlier than I’d normally go at about half nine. Normally, you speak to the coaches before and have your two hours out on the grass – with coaches doing a lot of the coaching.

“Then you have the managerial stuff in the afternoon, but apart from the match days, most training days look after themselves really. In this odd time, you try and use time the best you can.”

Remote meetings with his coaching team on a whole manner of subjects and check-in calls with players and other staff members form a fair part of Warne’s working day.

Video analysis of games, opponents and watching DVDs of prospective transfer targets also involves plenty of time and work. As does taking part in a variety of ‘webinars’ to boost his skills-set.

Rotherham manager, Paul Warne (Picture: PA)

Being a successful manager in the ‘new normal’ will not be straightforward and Warne is the sort of driven individual who wants to get ahead.

Warne continued: “It is management but in a different shape and form. I am still reaching out to people all the time with FaceTime meetings, but it is just a completely different role without a match-day – which you gear everything towards.

“All your weeks are defined by games. Even in pre-season, you have still got friendlies in two days and your first league game in three weeks or whatever.

“Now you haven’t got that. It is all about trying to get everyone to use this opportunity to self-improve. I know that sounds very clichéd, but the FA and LMA have done lots of really good webinars.

“I am on one where a manager is talking about being prepared for job interviews and how he got his first job in management.

“I have never done a job interview in my life, so definitely need that skills set. I am also a well-being one and have been on one with Rob Kelly, who is coaching in Germany.

“It is about all the processes they are going through with training with coaching in twos and fours and the difficulties and what they are doing regarding distancing and blood testing.

“Last week, I spoke to the coach at New York Red Bulls and we exchanged books to read.

“Then, there are your own staff who have got fears and worries. I speak to my owner quite a lot and always let him know exactly what I know and be open and honest. Then, you have to keep reaching out to the players.

“It is a different job, but a tiring one. I have embraced the whole video meetings and they have been brilliant and all the lads have got it.

“When I speak in web meetings with staff, you can see them all on your screens, but the sad thing is there is no social element to it. It is really productive, but with no human element of ‘how are you, how is your missus?’ You just get work chat and no chit-chat.”

There might have been no chit-chat, but there has been a fair bit of homework for Warne and company in terms of writing reports about possible transfer targets and evaluating the season so far with his staff.

Warne added: “Me, Hammy (Matt Hamshaw) and Rich (Richie Barker) are doing loads with Rob (Scott – head of recruitment) and we have never had this opportunity to be so time-rich.

“Before, Rob would come to us and say: ‘These are the six players I really like for a left-winger and what do you think?’

“Now, instead of watching these wingers he has put to us here and there, we are watching the whole game because you can.

“It is quite nice watching a game. Then you have to write a report and it is like being back at school.

“It has also allowed us as coaches to really evaluate our season and we were could improve in games we have lost and we have watched those games back – and you see if you made the right subs and had the right tactics.

“I listened to an excellent webinar last week from Eddie Jones. At the moment, we are second and have had a really good season, but it would be remiss of us to think we have got it sussed.

“The performances have reminded us of our good stuff, but also our Achilles heel.

“I have a better appreciation of what we are and are not.”

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