Rotherham United v Wigan: Ball could force Millers to switch formations

Rotherham's manager Paul Warne.
Rotherham's manager Paul Warne.
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PAUL WARNE is mulling over whether to turn tinkerman in order to accommodate David Ball into his starting line-up.

The former Fleetwood forward was widely viewed to be the player best capable of unlocking League One defences for Rotherham United when he arrived in the summer, with his pre-season form further encouraging that belief. But for a number of reasons, Ball has failed to make the expected impact with the Millers, but manager Warne remains confident that he will come good.

It would certainly be timely for the Millers, who have struggled with a plan B in an attacking sense without the input from leading marksmen Kieffer Moore, who is likely to be recalled by Ipswich Town in the new year.

On Ball, yet to score for the Millers in the league, having fired 14 goals for Fleetwood last term, Warne – who has hinted at involvement for the attack-minded player today – said: “Bally’s been really unlucky.

“I have had loads of conversations with him. He had a really good pre-season, but we changed the formation after the first game and got success playing 4-1-4-1.

“Bally was injured and the team went on a really good run. Now he has to fight his way into the team. I keep saying to him, ‘it’s not my job to put you in the team, it is your job to get into the team’.

“He has been training really well. I think Saturday could be a game where he has an influence on us. He is possibly getting frustrated. But if he did not, he would not be the player he is.”

Alluding specifically to having to make a formational decision in the near future to accommodate Ball, Warne, whose Rotherham side are without a league win in five matches, added: “To get the best out of him, we would have to change our formation, definitely.

“You cannot play him as a sitting midfielder and I do not think you can play him as a lone striker.

“Bally is an out and out ‘10’. His work ethic is amazing.

“If Bally played, you would have to flip the midfield round. It is the one-million-dollar question.”

“And there is the fun of the job, really.”