Rotherham United: Does boss Paul Warne intend to make more Millers signings?

Paul Warne and Jamie Proctor
Paul Warne and Jamie Proctor

Paul Warne will give his players the chance to prove themselves before deciding whether to bring in more reinforcements for Rotherham United’s League One campaign.

The manager has made seven summer signings so far and they have blended so well with the existing squad that the Millers have won all of their five pre-season friendlies so far.

Kieffer Moore

Kieffer Moore

Warne, who is preparing his side for Friday’s AESSEAL New York Stadium friendly against Sheffield United, likes what he has seen and is ready to bide his time on the recruitment front.

“As I stand here at the moment, I’m pretty happy with the squad I’ve got,” he told The Star after watching Tuesday night’s 1-0 victory over National League North outfit Gainsborough Trinity.

“I think, as the opposition gets harder and harder, it might become more apparent that I’m missing something. At the moment, I feel all right. Never say never. We’ve got ages until the window shuts (end of August).

New strikers David Ball and Jamie Proctor have bagged nine goals between them ahead of August 5 opening day at Fleetwood Town, and other new arrivals centre-half Michael Ihiekwe, midfielders Darren Potter and Ryan Williams, right-back Josh Emmanuel and targetman Kieffer Moore have also shown up well.

“This year, we’ve done all our business really early so I don’t have to panic and get anyone in,” Warne added. “If a situation crops up, there may be a change of heart. But I’m not actively trying to get anyone else in.

“I get people put to me all the time. But if I don’t think a player will improve us I won’t bring him in for the sake of it.”

Warne is looking to operate with a squad of around 23 senior professionals and, having said goodbye to central defender Kirk Broadfoot and centre-forward Dexter Blackstock, doesn’t anticipate many more departures.

“I’m not really looking to lose more players. I might shed one, possibly,” he said. “We have that many fixtures, I don’t want to go off with a small squad.

“We have 22/23 and that’s not a ridiculous amount. I’m pretty happy with that lot. if anyone isn’t happy and wants to leave, they’ll go with my blessing. I’m not actively trying to force people out.”

The boss was satisfied with the win over Trinity, where Proctor scored his fourth goal in four games and Emmanuel and Ihiekwe did their chances of first-team starting roles no harm at all.

“I was pleased with the clean sheet,” he said. “I thought we started poorly. I did warn our lads that they would throw the kitchen sink at us.

“But I thought, after that, we were all right. We deserved more goals than we got. In fairness, Gainsborough worked really hard.

“The bigger picture is that a lot of my pros have got another 90 minutes under their belts and are a step closer to polishing off a few bits. I’m looking forward to more training and then trying to move on another step against Sheffield United on Friday night.

“It was a good, competitive game. It was the first chance for Rotherham fans to see Josh play and Kieffer play and I like to think both players showed good bits of why I brought them to the club. To be injury-free, win and get a clean sheet ... I’m reasonably happy.”

Gainsborough v Millers match verdict