Rotherham United hoping to bring in two new players before tonight’s transfer window shuts

Freddie Ladapo of Rotherham United. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)Freddie Ladapo of Rotherham United. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
Freddie Ladapo of Rotherham United. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
IF Paul Warne had his way, two new faces would be in the door at Rotherham United before tonight’s transfer deadline.

The Millers manager is hopeful of adding one new midfielder to his squad before the window closes after a change in formation has left him needing more depth in the area. He accepts that signing two players is unrealistic as he prepares to go into the second half of the campaign with a smaller squad. On Saturday, it was confirmed that Adam Thompson and Curtis Tilt had both left the club to pursue opportunities elsewhere.

Warne has switched to a 3-5-2 formation in recent fixtures, which has accentuated the need for another central midfielder.

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Rotherham suffered their first league defeat of 2021, as a clinical Swansea City took all three points from the New York Stadium. Warne is hopeful of securing one transfer target but, as of Saturday, was waiting for permission to speak with the player.

“You could see against Swansea that with the way we play, it is an impossible task to ask our midfielders to play Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Wednesday,” said Warne.

“We definitely need some help in the middle of the park.

“The chairman is happy to support that, I have just got to try and let the club release the player. I would like two players. One is realistic. Two is the dream.”

United’s three game unbeaten run was ended on Saturday afternoon as Swansea’s superior quality told.

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Paul Warne.  Picture Bruce RollinsonPaul Warne.  Picture Bruce Rollinson
Paul Warne. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Conor Hourihane and Matt Grimes produced two fine strikes inside 10 first-half minutes to help win a closely-fought contest but Warne was far from downbeat about the Millers display.

Half-time substitute Freddie Ladapo gave Rotherham hope with a second-half header but chances of a fightback faded as Jay Fulton added a third for Swansea following a swift and devastating counter attack. 

Ryan Giles was also introduced prior to the second-half restart He made a cameo appearance as Rotherham beat Middlesbrough 3-0 at the Riverside Stadium last week.

He is a player Warne has had on his radar for a while and he feels the 21-year-old has added more balance to his side.  

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“I have tried to sign him about three times, so I joked when we signed him that we had already printed his shirt a few times,” continued Warne.

“I like my wing-backs to take the full-back on, put crosses in and if you lose it, tell them not to worry about it and to win it back.

“He was blowing, I don’t think he is used to the workload you have playing wing-back for us.

“I thought he was positive, his set pieces are a weapon but they can get better. It just gives us a bit of natural balance.

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“I am pleased with him. I thought we looked a little bit jaded in the first half. The subs all had an impact, Freddie took his goal really well. At 2-1, I thought that if it just dropped to one of us the scoreline could’ve been different.”

Rotherham took the game to Swansea and were only undone by the visitors’ sharpness in front of goal.

They now prepare for a crunch meeting with Derby County, who moved five points ahead of the Millers following a 1-0 win over Bristol City on Saturday.

“There was no part of the game where we were just sitting behind the ball and not trying,” added Warne.

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“That isn’t the way we play. I threw the kitchen sink with 15 minutes to go. Even before then we put another striker on, so I don’t know what more we could’ve done. I leave the ground today really proud of them. Unfortunately, we came up against a team who were better than us today.

“That happens quite a lot. We can only be the best version of ourselves and I thought for large parts of the game we were.

“When we got back to 2-1, I thought we might have been in for something but then there was another bit of class for their third goal.

“It looked a great finish, I am just disappointed with how we let them out on the halfway line but I can’t knock their finishing.

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“Both teams have tried to play the best they can but they have just edged it on good finishing. They deserve their win.”

Rotherham: Blackman; Ihiekwe, Wood (Robertson 58), Angus MacDonald; Olosunde (Giles 45), Lindsay, Shaun MacDonald (Ladapo 45), Wiles, Harding; Smith (Hirst 76), Crooks (Jozefzoon 79). Unused substitutes: Johansson, Clarke, Vickers.

Swansea: Woodman; Bennett, Cabango, Guehi; Grimes, Roberts, Dhanda (Fulton 74), Hourihane; Bidwell; Lowe (Morris 83), Ayew. Unused substitutes: Manning, Hamer, Latibeaudiere, Cooper, Williams, Evans, Garrick.

Referee: T Harrington (Cleveland).

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