Rotherham United: When Warne and Blackstock knew it was time to call it a day

Dexter Blackstock
Dexter Blackstock

Talks between boss Paul Warne and Dexter Blackstock signalled the end of the striker’s troubled stay at Rotherham United, the manager has revealed.

Boss Warne spoke with the club’s highest-earning player, who managed only five starts in his first season at AESSEAL New York Stadium, and both agreed a split was inevitable.

The former Premier League centre-forward left yesterday after agreeing a settlement on the remaining two years of his contract, leaving Warne a relieved man as he shapes a squad for the forthcoming League One campaign.

“I’m glad the situation is finally resolved,” the boss told The Star. “Me and Dexter had a conversation. We both came out of that knowing the only outcome was that he wouldn’t be playing a part next season.

“It was common sense to part company. I wish him all the best. I have no ill feelings towards him. He just isn’t my type of player. And I think, if he was a manager, I wouldn’t be his type of player either.”

Warne, who pressed ahead with his team rebuilding today by making teenage Ipswich Town right-back Josh Emmanuel, his seventh summer signing, didn’t select Blackstock even as a substitute towards the end of last season as the Millers were relegated from the Championship.

The 31-year-old centre-forward had arrived at New York last September during the managerial reign of Alan Stubbs, having started his career in the top flight with Southampton and then spending more than a decade in the secoond tier with the likes of QPR and Nottinghm Forest.

“Loads of players come and go from football clubs all the time. It’s no different here,” Warne said. “Since I have taken over, there have been a load of players who have slid out of the door and there hasn’t been a big trumpet about it.

“Obviously, it’s different for Dexter. He’s a big name and it just didn’t work out for him.

“It would have been the same for any player. If Woody (centre-half Richard Wood), say, wasn’t part of my plans, you don’t want him around.

“It sounds awful - he’s a great lad - but you don’t want to be spending any of your time or energy on players who aren’t going to play a part.”

Goodbye Blackstock: Millers opinion piece