Rotherham United: Stewart tells new Millers boss Warne to choose who he wants

Paul Warne
Paul Warne

Paul Warne has been handed a free rein to add to his backroom staff after taking over as permanent manager of Rotherham United.

The 43-year-old is already closing in on an assistant boss and plans more appointments before the relegated Millers begin life in League One next season.

“The chairman (Tony Stewart) has given me carte blanche really,” he said. “I can bring in whoever I want.”

Warne wants at least one more coach and needs an extra physiotherapist, possibly two, as Denis Circuit is due to retire.

The new manager, appointed this week after 23 matches as caretaker boss, says coach Matt Hamshaw and interim No 2 John Breckin will remain in his back-up team.

He has several players whose contracts are due to expire but he will keep them waiting before revealing whether they are to be offered fresh deals.

“I will be doing that not in the next couple of weeks but in the last two or three games,” he said. “I’ll probably have a chat with the lads possibly in the last week of the season.

“I still need the lads to perform to a level and give their all to the end of the season.”

Warne, who will spend more than a fortnight in Belfast in the summer completing his coaching qualifications, accepts he has sacrificed his long-term future at New York Stadium by taking the hot-seat.

He knew that while he was interim boss he could always return to his old role of fitness coach, but acknowledges that has become an unlikely option.

“It’s a difficult one. Initially, I always thought it was possible. I’m not so sure now,” he said. “The manager who comes in after me ... I’m not sure he would want me sitting behind him. I am well aware of how football is.

“This might be my one shot at it at this club. Regrettably, I don’t think, when the next manager comes, I could be in the first-team staff. That is the risk I have taken.

“My family’s future depends on what I do. Maybe I will be a bit more ruthless. If there’s a choice between my son smiling and one of the players smiling because I have told them what they want to hear, then I am more than happy to make a hard decision for the benefit of my family and this club.

“I am a good lad, but I have got a bit of a side as well.”

Warne is talking to the man he wants as his assistant but can’t make an announcement yet as his top choice is working for another club.

His former Millers teammate Richie Barker, now No 2 at Charlton Athletic, is being strongly linked to the post.

Rotherham head to Wigan Athletic tomorrow and have captain Lee Frecklington available after a calf injury, although fellow midfielder Tom Adeyemi, who also has a calf problem, is a doubt.

Striker Dexter Blackstock hasn’t made the bench in recent games and Warne said: “There are no injury issues. I can select any from the group and he hasn’t been in the selection.

“Has there been any conversation between me and him? No.”

Warne interested in old boy Pringle

Richard Wood column: My joy when Wednesday were relegated!