Rotherham United: Warne salutes Millers marathon man Frecklington

Lee Frecklington in action against QPR
Lee Frecklington in action against QPR

Rotherham United had won for the first time in 16 matches and caretaker boss Paul Warne was keen to capture the moment for posterity.

There was just one problem. The man who had done so much to inspire the 1-0 victory over QPR last Saturday at New York Stadium was out on his feet.

Captain Lee Frecklington leaves nothing on the pitch, and that’s why he will be leading the team at Fulham tomorrow as they bid to make further inroads into the 10-point gap between them and Championship safety,

“When the lads came in, the dressing room was filmed because I wanted to show them what it’s like when you win a game, how good you feel,” Warne revealed.

“But they looked like they’d just lost because they’d given everything physically. It’s not like everyone is dancing around, whoop-wooping and throwing beer in the air. They’re just so pleased to sit.

“If you look at the state of Frecks, it looks like he’s just run three marathons.”

Warne’s temporary reign has lifted Millers spirits after the spells at the helm of Alan Stubbs and Kenny Jackett left the club cut adrift at the foot of the division and the fitness coach is ready to remain in his interim role for as long as chairman Tony Stewart wants him to.

“It’s positive with the chairman,” Warne, just two games into the job, said. “I’m getting the same message I’ve always had, that he’s happy for me to tick along.

“At the moment, he wants me to continue. I haven’t been told a name he’s been linked to or who he likes. We haven’t talked timescales.”

Frecklington is fit again after a five-match absence with an ankle injury and his commitment to the cause will set the tone as the bottom club take on a Cottagers side 10th in the table after last weekend’s 4-4 draw at Wolves.

“Frecks gives you everything he’s got,” Warne said. “When you do fitness tests at the start of the season, he might not win the testing, but it’s not about how fit you are and how much you can run, it’s about how much you want to run.

“He’s just prepared to put himself through more pain than anyone else. Frecks will run until he literally can’t run anymore. He’s like a dog. He’ll end up with his tongue hanging out of the side of his mouth. That’s the kind of bloke he is.”

Former player Warne dismissed suggestions that his players’ Herculean efforts against QPR would have any effect on tomorrow’s showdown.

“I’m aware that a lot of them will have fatigue from Saturday but then the Fulham lads will as well from their draw at Wolves,” he said.

“If you give everything you have on a Saturday, you’re going to be tired on a Tuesday night. But boo hoo, I’m tired all the time. I spent 20 years being stiff!

“I will put a team out, regardless of fatigue, of who I think will perform. They put a lot in on Saturday and so they should. They’re physically prepared so they can put a lot in.

“They should recover in time for Tuesday night, and it’s no different for the Fulham players either.”

Goalkeeper Lee Camp won’t travel to West London as he recovers from a knee knock, while centre-half Kirk Broadfoot will be back in first-team contention after one more reserve outing and Warne says utility man Greg Halford should be available for the festive period.

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