THE final sparring takes place today ahead of the main bout for Rotherham United next weekend – and Paul Warne will be watching intently.
It will be performance levels as opposed to today’s result which will primarily interest the Millers chief – waiting to see who his side’s opponents are next week, with their top-six spot secure.
Whoever his side faces, Warne has a fair idea of his line-up, although the variables of form could yet change his mind.
Warne said: “I think I know my best side, depending on the opposition and depending on form.
“If everyone plays to the absolute best in training next week, and we have a certain team we are playing against, then I know which way I am going to play.
“But the lads’ form goes up and down like anything. If they are all at their best, I think I have got a good idea who I will play, but they are not always all at their best at the same time. One could be injured, one fatigued, something could happen at home.
“As I sit here now, I could write down possibly seven players who I think will definitely be in the side for the first play-off game. But ask me after the game on Saturday when I might be in a bad mood and I might say two!”
When the Millers next stride out at home after today’s final match of the regular season, they will be greeted by a huge 12m by 12m flag – which fans are raising money for – and Warne believes it will add to the sense of togetherness among the club and fanbase who have reconnected this season.
He added: “I think it is excellent. I am all for things that build atmosphere. I love stuff like that. I should live in America, really. I am the cheesiest man ever.
“I love the badge, the pride, anything like that. If I was stood on the terraces with my 14-year-old son and the flag came round, I would buzz off that.
“Anything that makes the stadium more like ‘this is our home’ is brilliant.
“It generates atmosphere and lifts the lads as they walk on to the pitch.”