Rotherham United v Wycombe - Paul Warne is missing the fans

UNDER normal circumstances, with five of their next six matches being on home soil, Rotherham United would have a major advantage on their relegation rivals.

Rotherham United manager Paul Warne: Missing fans.
Rotherham United manager Paul Warne: Missing fans.

Unfortunately, these are unprecedented times amid Covid-19. The fans who inspired the Millers to famous late-season wins at the AESSEAL New York Stadium against Preston, Aldershot, Scunthorpe, Leeds and Middlesbrough in days of yore are absent and the club’s home form is worse than their away statistics in 2020-21.

Rather than rue the fact that his Millers side are missing out on a potential psychological edge in some key games in the run-in, manager Paul Warne primarily just feels a profound sadness.

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He commented: “What the fans give the place is life. At the moment, the stadiums are just soulless. Even when I walk up the tunnel at half-time and see my wife and kids in the front row, there’s no human interaction, that’s what I miss.

“I do think fans have a massive input. This year, everyone’s home form is not as good as normal and everyone’s away form is a bit better than normal. So there is not any advantage.

“It feels like all games are on a neutral ground. It feels like in pre-season. It has not got the same excitement and noise and that is what fans are.

“Even the smell of hot dogs and pies at half-time and the irrational abuse you get away from home can be quite funny at times. You miss all the colours.

“Football without fans is white. Football with fans is a rainbow of colours. You might not like some colours, but predominantly you like most of them.”

Last six games: Rotherham LLWLWL; Wycombe LLWLDW.

Referee: J Linington (Isle of Wight).

Last time: Rotherham 0 Wycombe 1, October 26, 2019; League One.

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