Paul Warne’s Rotherham United leaving League One heavyweights Sheffield Wednesday, Ipswich Town and Portsmouth trailing in their wake

JUST FOUR points separate the top eight in League One and Rotherham United manager Paul Warne predicts that it has the potential to be one of the tightest third-tier promotion races in years in 2021-22.

Sitting handily placed – some would say ominously – are Warne’s Millers side, who extended their unbeaten league run to five games with a 2-0 weekend win at Cheltenham Town.

It moved Rotherham up to fourth in an opening to the season when the likes of Sheffield Wednesday, Portsmouth and Ipswich Town have yet to truly make their mark consistently while others such as Plymouth Argyle and Bolton Wanderers are proving to be surprise packages.

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Warne said: “There are some massive hitters in this league such as Wigan, Pompey (Portsmouth) and Charlton and I know there’s Financial Fair Play and you can spend so much of your money and obviously add money to it.

Paul Warne: Has got Rotherham up to fourth in the third tier.Paul Warne: Has got Rotherham up to fourth in the third tier.
Paul Warne: Has got Rotherham up to fourth in the third tier.

“I have had many people say to me: ‘How have they signed him, then?’ I think League One has done more business in reality to the league than any other.

“That is what it feels like and there are clubs really going for it and it’s going to be a tight league.

“But what’s good from my point of view is that there always seems to be big teams playing other big teams, if that makes sense.

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“I just cannot see anyone romping away with it with ninety points this season. I just cannot see it.”

Millers Will Grigg
 (Picture: Tony Johnson)Millers Will Grigg
 (Picture: Tony Johnson)
Millers Will Grigg (Picture: Tony Johnson)

It has been an opening to the campaign where some sides who have recruited extensively such as Ipswich and Charlton Athletic have struggled for form and Warne accepts that while having stacked squads to cover for all contingencies can be an advantage, it can also create issues.

Warne, who brought in five permanent signings in the summer window and two loanees, continued: “There are clubs with money, but it brings you problems if you sign twenty-odd players and you have got six centre- forwards.

“I don’t care how much money they are getting paid, you are not keeping those six all happy.

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“Then you lose a couple on the spin and your dressing room can be ‘gone’. Money is a great thing to get the best players in, no doubt. But you still have to spend it wisely. Whether that guarantees you success or not, I don’t know.”

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