Rotherham United: Summer of suffering as Vaulks gears up for new role

Will Vaulks
Will Vaulks

Rotherham United plan to put Will Vaulks through a pre-season of pain to convert the midfield man to a new position.

The 23-year-old has spent much of this Championship season as a central midfielder, but has impressed at right-back in the Millers’ last three matches.

Caretaker manager Paul Warne, who could be confirmed as permanent boss next week, has told Vaulks his Rotherham future lies as a full-back or wing-back and to prepare to suffer as the Millers improve his conditioning.

“I like him,” Warne said. “He is one bossy man and he is a winner.

“I have said to him in the summer that we will recreate his fitness so he is a wing-back because he will make more money as a wing- back than as a midfielder. He laughed but I wasn’t joking.

“I would be looking at him as a right-back because it suits his play. He just wants to play so he is happy to play anywhere.”

The bottom-placed Millers, who return to action after the international break at home to Fulham on Saturday, are 24 points adrift of safety with eight games left and will be relegated shortly.

Warne believes Vaulks’ experience in the second tier will stand him in good stead in League One next year.

“I do like him as a right-back,” the interim boss said. “He’s not playing against idiots here. The winger in League One might not be as good as the winger for, say, Wolves.

“I think he has handles himself really well. He has a good understanding of the game and he has good positional sense. He has done well.”

Regular right-back Darnell could be back in contention for the Cottagers clash after hamstring trouble, but Vaulks is likely to get the nod against the play-off-chasing visitors.

“The way he has been playing, he deserves to play,” said Warne.

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