THE sweet feeling of a derby victory at Hillsborough is something that Paul Warne has sampled on three joyous occasions.
In his playing days with Rotherham United, Warne was part of Ronnie Moore’s side who triumphed twice at S6 in the space of six glorious months – with both memorable 2-1 wins arriving thanks to last-minute winners.
A magnificent long-range strike from Darren Garner saw his name in lights in February 2002 and an encore was provided early on in the following 2002-03 season when a header from Millers assistant Richie Barker secured another famous moment in club folklore.
Warne was an unused substitute in the first victory and came on in the latter and was also part of the Millers’ backroom team when they triumphed 1-0 during the Great Escape run under Neil Warnock in March 2016.
Equally, Warne has copped the bitter pill of defeat at Hillsborough in a controversial stoppage-time loss in the early weeks of his caretaker stint in December 2016.
Acutely aware of the Millers’ epic winless away sequence at this level which stretches back to April 2016 – 973 days to be precise – Warne said: “If you are fortunate enough to come away with a positive result, you can see the effect it has upon everyone and the fans are absolutely buzzing.
It does hurt a little bit more if you lose to your local rivals. The Sheffield United, Leeds and Wednesday games do bring more to it and that is why you want to be in this league.Rotherham United manager, Paul Warne
“I appreciate the people who are going and we are taking a decent following. The away following has been excellent and in fairness to them, they deserve a win.”
On his painful last visit to the Owls, he added: “I was hugely disappointed as I thought we were excellent that day. They are big games and maybe it does hurt a little bit more if you lose to your local rivals. The Sheffield United, Leeds and Wednesday games do bring more to it and that is why you want to be in this league.
“We are hugely revved up and looking forward to it.”