MK Dons v Rotherham United: Defensive problems mount up for Paul Warne

Rotherham United's manager Paul Warne.
Rotherham United's manager Paul Warne.
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Rotherham United have defensive problems to contend with as they look to build on the win that took them into the League One play-off places for the first time last week.

Chiedozie Ogbene was outstanding in the first half of the 1-0 victory over Accrington Stanley, but is suspended at Milton Keynes Dons after two cheap yellow cards in the second half.

Although manager Paul Warne says Kyle Vassell is “in a good place,” he is not considered match-fit enough to start at the weekend.

But it is at the other end of the field where the biggest issues lie.

Richard Wood is out with a hamstring injury, Joe Mattock’s return from back trouble has been delayed, and Clark Robertson and Adam Thompson have been restricted by niggling injuries in training this week. Michael Ihiekwe has been ill.

“At this rate I might have to play Smudge (Michael Smith) or Crooksy (Matt Crooks) at centre-back,” said Warne in his pre-match press conference. “It is a problem, but more often than not, it sorts itself out by the weekend.”

Despite their issues, morale at the New York Stadium is good, according to midfielder Ben Wiles.

“The mood has been great around the place as it is every week because we don’t beat ourselves up about losses too much,” he said.

“We always try to move on quickly.

“We’ll be making it very difficult for teams because we’re capable of doing that, but it’s a new group of lads and we’re still learning different things in training.

“We’re gelling together well, but it’s just important for us to get the wins and keep progressing,” he added.