Scouting missions underline Paul Warne’s attitude to run-up to play-offs

Rotherham United manager Paul Warne (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe).
Rotherham United manager Paul Warne (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe).
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There is no chance Rotherham United manager Paul Warne will be taking tomorrow’s trip to Plymouth Argyle lightly.

While the Millers are guaranteed a League One play-off spot as they look for an instant return to the Championship, Warne wants his side to finish the regular season on a high.

Tomorrow they travel to seventh-placed Argyle – who need a win to keep alive their own play-off hopes – before a final-day meeting at home to Blackpool.

With Plymouth a potential play-off opponent for fourth-placed Rotherham, along with either Scunthorpe United or Charlton Athletic, Warne is wary about handing out any favours.

“Plymouth are a team we could, potentially, play in the play-offs, so I don’t want to lose any psychological edge to them,” said Warne.

“I want us to go there and perform to our max – then enjoy the 12-hour bus journey home.

“One thing’s for sure, we won’t change the way we play.

“We’ve set up, wrongly or rightly, in every game this season to win. It will be no different in the last two games.

“We’re not going to Plymouth to make the numbers up or hang on for a 0-0. We’ll show the league the utmost respect.

“Me, Hammy (Matt Hamshaw) and Polly (Mike Pollitt) were at the reserve game at Grimsby on Tuesday afternoon and then drove from Grimsby to Rochdale to watch the Rochdale v Plymouth game.

“We wouldn’t be doing that if I didn’t have any interest in winning the game.”

Warne is loathe to make too many changes to his side for the final two games.

He wants Rotherham to extend their recent good run of form – three wins and a draw at promoted Wigan Athletic in their last four outings – into next month’s play-offs.

He said: “It’s a thin line. If you rest key players obviously you can keep them free of injury, although, in fairness, they could get injured in training or even just walking down the stairs.

“We had one player at the club who dropped something on his foot when he was at home with flip-flops on and he couldn’t play. You can’t protect them from everything.

“My theory is I will keep the key players, but not for so long. It might end up that I play my best 11 on Saturday, but I might make my substitutions quicker.

“Or I might see someone in training (today) looking a little jaded and I might pull them out,” he added.