"You have to be ambitious, you have to look forward," Matt Taylor lays out ambition on succeeding Paul Warne as Rotherham United manager

Matt Taylor will not put a ceiling on how far he can take Rotherham United after being unveiled as the man to build on the foundations laid by Paul Warne.

The 40-year-old from Chorley has signed a four-year-deal to be the next manager of Rotherham and takes charge of his first game on Wednesday night against Millwall.

That the side he inherits sit 12th in the Championship owes much to the work done by Warne, who left the club two weeks ago to take over at Derby County, after a six-year spell at Rotherham characterised largely by punching above their weight.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Taylor arrives for his second job in management from Exeter City, a team he leaves in a similar position after four years at the helm; 11th in League One in their first season in the third tier.

Matt Taylor, the new manager of Rotherham United, and chairman Tony StewartMatt Taylor, the new manager of Rotherham United, and chairman Tony Stewart
Matt Taylor, the new manager of Rotherham United, and chairman Tony Stewart

Warne could never keep Rotherham in the Championship, though – they were relegated three times during his tenure – and while that is the base requirement for Taylor this season, he is not one for setting a low bar.

“You never know in football, we found that at Exeter,” said Taylor at his unveiling on Tuesday evening after he had taken two training sessions with his new players.

"You have to be ambitious, you have to look forward, you have to look up.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We want to take this league on in relation to how this team has taken it on already. We don’t want to take a backward step. If we lose, we lose, but it’s in our terms.

“Where can this club go? We’ve seen smaller clubs than Rotherham in the Premier League.

“I’m not saying we’re going to get promoted this year or next but you have to be ambitious, you have to be able to dream. There’s no reason we can’t achieve something special.”

Certainly Rotherham are in a healthier position than arguably they have ever been for an incoming manager. But four points shy of the play-offs and four points clear of the bottom three in a league that can change shape radically in the space of a week, means the new man is under no illusions.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I’m right in saying that every entry into this level the club has been relegated at the first time of asking, so we have to be realistic and talk about stability and staying up in the Championship,” said Taylor.

“There’s been no specific remit laid out, we want to be as pro-active in terms of how many points we get. We’ve had a good points return so far but it’s an incredible league, a great one to be involved in.”

For chairman Tony Stewart - who says he knew he had the up-and-coming manager he sought two minutes into his interview with Taylor - establishing Rotherham in the second tier is what he wants from the next phase of his stewardship of the club.

“We’ve had a good start, it is early days, but we’d like to be a bit more comfortable in the Championship, let’s put it that way,” said Stewart.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I do believe it will take time to settle in. But he’s started well, I like the endeavour, the dexterity and the thought process already that Matt has put in.

“We had six years with Paul, we got on really well and I’m sure me and Matt are going to share a similar relationship because at the end of the day we have to be on the same page.”