Rotherham United v Accrington Stanley: Paul Warne ready to ring the changes for League Cup tie

Paul Warne plans to make as many changes as possible to his Rotherham United team this evening to give his summer signings and fringe players a chance to make a case to face Wigan Athletic on Saturday.

Warne will use the League Cup first round, which takes the Millers to Accrington Stanley, to rotate his squad. He says he owes it to those overlooked for the win over Plymouth Argyle.

That was achieved with a starting XI made up entirely of players at the club last season. Hakeem Odoffin, Ollie Rathbone and Shane Ferguson made debuts from the bench but Rarmani Edmonds-Green and Josh Chapman had to wait. Warne name-checked Kieran Sadlier as another unlucky not to be involved.

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All must have a good chance of playing at the Crown Ground.

PAUL WARNE: The Rotherham Untied manager will make as many changes as possible for tonight's League Cup tie. Picture: Tony Johnson.

“I’m going to make as many changes as I possibly can,” said Warne. “I’ve asked them to compete for a shirt. If they can’t get on the pitch, how can they compete?

“I’ll give loads of opportunities to different players. That’s no disrespect to Accrington. I know it’s going to be a tough game and we still want to win it.

“But if the lads who didn’t start on Saturday are going to start in future weeks, they need to be able to perform against Accrington. Accrington are in our league.

“It allows me to have a look and possibly think: ‘Maybe I’ll tweak it for the next league game.’

WINNING START: Rotherham United kicked off their competitive campaign with victory over Plymouth Argyle. Picture: Gary Longbottom.

“We need to get more minutes into the players. Until they’ve played six, seven, eight games, they’re all a little bit rusty.”

Not being one of the big-budget clubs, you might expect him to say differently but the Football League reverting to three substitutions allowed per game has made it harder for Warne.

“I loved the five subs, it suited my personality no end,” he said.

“I don’t like to unnecessarily irritate my players and I like to get everyone to feel a part of it and five subs was brilliant because virtually everyone on the bench had an opportunity.”

Ferguson was the last substitute used against Plymouth, but made the biggest impression

“I have got a lot of time for Shane, he is fully respectful of the fact he didn’t start on Saturday,” said Warne.

“I got all four (new) lads in my office on Friday and said ‘I know you’ve all come here to play but it’s your job to get in the team’.

“He has played for his country (Northern Ireland) 49 times and I’d be pleased if I played for my county 49 times.

“Mickel (Miller) nicked it (on Saturday) because he has been here a bit longer and probably has a bit more pace.”

Last six games: Rotherham United WDDDLL; Accrington Stanley LWDDDW

Referee: W Finnie (Bedfordshire)

Last time: Rotherham United 1 Accrington Stanley 0, November 16, 2019, League One.

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