Birmingham City v Rotherham United: Paul Warne more than happy to see his Millers depart on international duty

Richie Towell: Doubtful.
Richie Towell: Doubtful.
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Paul Warne believes this week’s international call-ups prove Rotherham United are on the right track.

The quartet of Richie Towell (Republic of Ireland), Marek Rodak (Slovakia), Ryan Manning (Republic of Ireland Under-21s) and Semi Ajayi (Nigeria) will all head off on international duty after today’s trip to Birmingham.

For a club with one of the smallest budgets in the Championship – following promotion from League One in May – the call-ups are recognition of the impressive work carried out by Warne and the Millers.

“We are not one of the trendiest clubs in the Championship, but the fact that the lads are getting call-ups means we are doing something right,” said Warne.

Towell is a doubt for today’s trip to Birmingham with a knee injury which ruled him out of Wednesday’s 0-0 draw with Bristol City.

Not that Warne would stand in the way of the midfielder’s international hopes, as Towell looks to make his Irish debut for Martin O’Neill’s side in games against Denmark and Wales.

There is always that element of worry (of further injury), but if he was my son would I want him to go to the international call-up for the first time, damn right I would. If that gives him a boost and he comes back a better player then great.

Paul Warne

Warne said: “There is always that element of worry (of further injury), but if he was my son would I want him to go to the international call-up for the first time, damn right I would.

“If that gives him a boost and he comes back a better player then great. As a manager, I have a responsibility to put the best team out and do the best I can for Rotherham. But I still have a responsibility to do what is right for him and what is right for him is, without a shadow of a doubt, to represent his country, make his family proud.

“His daughter will grow up knowing her dad once played for his country which is hugely impressive.”

Rotherham’s first game back in the Championship was a 5-1 loss at Brentford, but since that opening day loss, the Millers have improved, picking up 11 points in as many games.

Warne said: “I think this season has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster.

“I think when we came back for pre-season, everyone had the euphoria of getting promoted and feeling invincible. There was soon a rude awakening at Brentford, not that any of them thought it was going to be easy, but it was a reality check. And from then, the lads have realised they can compete.”