Boss candidate Paul Warne says he has no idea what next week will bring as Rotherham United prepare to make an announcement about the way forward for the club.
The Championship outfit intend to make a statement on Wednesday which could reveal who their next permanent manager will be and Warne, who has been in caretaker charge since November, is up against “two or three” other contenders.
The fitness coach and former player, said today: “I don’t know what the big reveal is. That’s the truth, and I am not brave enough to ask the chairman.
“I speak to him all the time. I tell him my thoughts, I tell him where I think the club should go. I am completely open and honest with him. I tell him I think I need to improve if he wants to consider me, so it is a pretty open forum.”
Bottom side Rotherham could be relegated at home to Fulham tomorrow, before they face derby rivals Sheffield Wednesday at New York Stadium on Tuesday night.
“I am well aware that if we won the next two games and we were amazing the chairman might think ‘Warney is the man for this’,” Warne said.
“But I am also well aware that if results go the other way he might think we need some fresh blood, and I completely understand that. I don’t have any fear or lack of sleep over where my career is going. I am just happy to work at this club.
“I think I am more suited as an appointment than I was four months ago. I still have things I need to work on. I would surround myself with good people. I know I would be a hard-working and honest appointment and give everything to the job.”
Chairman Tony Stewart said today: “We have had a bad situation with managers and, sometimes, these managers are like salesmen and tell you want you want to hear.
“We are looking seriously at the next manager, and Warney has got to be in it as he is the guy who has never been sacked and has been working with all the managers we have had over the last ten years.
“Some of these ‘professional’ managers, they have come in and wanted to ‘change the world’. If the person (player) is not right in front of them, they want to get one out and another one in. It that fails, you sack the manager, and then you have to start again. It has been like that over eight and a half years.”
The Millers, who appointed a new head of recruitment in January, are already deep into their planning for their League One campaign next year.
“Going into next season, we are more prepared than we ever had been,” Stewart said. “But, because of what has happened before, we are treading carefully and taking our time.
“We have talked to certain parties and had time to do that as we did not rush in to get another manager. We know what the options are out there, and we have had a young guy standing in. That all goes into the mix. We have got good options.”
Warne added: “If it was taken off me, it would be a little bit of a relief because it is a weight around your neck. But if I do it, then it is a massive honour. It would be nice going into games (next season) confident of getting a win and I would like to stamp my mark on the club.
“But if Mick McCarthy became available, then he is better than me. I know there are good candidates out there.”
Rotherham, returning to action after the international break against the Cottagers, have goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell, right-backs Darnell Fisher and Stephen Kelly and centre-half Richard Wood, available again after injuries.
Striker Jonson Clarke-Harris is back playing for the reserves after spending all season on the sidelines following knee surgery but isn’t considered ready for the senior squad.
The club have yet to take up their option to extend striker Danny Ward’s contract for another 12 months, but Warne says that it will happen.
“We have got until the end of May to do it. It will be done,” he said. “I spoke to him the other day to give him peace of mind and said that, even if he breaks his leg, the club would stand by him.
The caretaker manager expects goalkeeper Lee Camp, unable to play again this term after a knee operation, to leave when his contract expires in the summer.
“He believes, and he is right to, that he is Championship goalkeeper,” Warne said. “I will chat with him in the next couple of weeks.
“He is now in on a daily basis but he can do very little, so I didn’t think the timing was right. I think Campy will be playing somewhere else next year.”