Rotherham United players urged to prove their worth

ROTHERHAM UNITED manager Paul Warne believes that a number of his squad can secure moves to high-profile rivals in future years '“ if they perform on the Championship stage in 2018-19.

Paul Warne: Under no illusions.

The promoted Millers start life back in the second tier at Brentford on Saturday with the club firmly bracketed among the relegation favourites this term.

Alongside proving the doubters wrong in their quest to secure their Championship status in the forthcoming season, the Millers players also have plenty of motivation on the personal front, according to Warne.

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The manager said: “In fairness, our lads are really eager to impress and if some have really good seasons, they will get cherry-picked off.

“The lads have got a lot to play for. If, say Joe Newell or whoever, gets a dream move from here, he goes with our blessing, we will be really pleased for them.

“To do that, they will have to play well and perform for this team – and it is a reward for everyone.”

Whereas a surge of optimism was noticeable ahead of the start of last season for the new-look Millers, a sense of realism and perspective pervades this time around, with staff and supporters under no illusions about the size of the task in hand as the club seeks to re-establish themselves in the Championship.

For Warne, that is certainly no bad thing ahead of the opening-day trip to Griffin Park, with the Millers chasing a first Championship away win in 26 matches.

“I remember the hype before the Fleetwood game (first match of 2017-18) and the ‘new era’ (talk) and we lost and it was like the end of the world,” said the Millers manager.

“I am a year wiser now and I will not judge it on the first game or first three games – but I would like to get off to a good start.

“Even if the results do not come, we need to be competitive.”