Rotherham United: Rescuer Warnock has players’ vote

Richie Smallwood

Richie Smallwood

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Rotherham United’s squad of survival heroes are all hoping manager Neil Warnock decides to commit his future to the club he saved from the drop.

Warnock led the Millers to Championship safety during his 16-game reign this season and is spending the weekend deciding whether to stay at AESSEAL New York Stadium next year.

Midfielder Richie Smallwood has revealed the players who embarked on an 11-match unbeaten run to swing the battle to stay up firmly in their favour want to see the man who led their revival filling the hot-seat again.

“The lads would love him to stay, but we’ll just have to see what happens,” said Smallwood, who played in every match of the undefeated sequence.

Warnock’s short-term deal expires on May 31 and D-Day is looming for the 67-year-old, with the club keen to make an announcement by the middle of next week.

He has been keeping his options open, waiting to see if second-tier clubs who could offer him the chance of a record-breaking eighth promotion make advances.

Neil Warnock

Neil Warnock

But Rotherham chairman Tony Stewart want the issue resolving as soon as possible so the Millers can start making firm plans for next season.

Warnock has loved his time with the Millers and enjoys a close working relationship with Stewart, but says he can’t let his heart rule his head as he contemplates one final fling in management.

Smallwood hailed the impact the veteran boss had after answering Stewart’s SOS call in February when Rotherham were in the bottom three and dispensed with Neil Redfearn.

“The club decided to go in a different direction and it worked wonders,” Smallwood said. “As a group of players, we are grateful for that. It has been good, it’s been organised. Neil’s old school, but I like that.

“When you need results, an approach like that tends to get them. It’s worked well for the club and hopefully it can continue.”

Rotherham, who have a number of players out of contract shortly, hope to unveil their retained list next week.

Warnock has made recommendations to Stewart about new deals, but the situation has been complicated by the uncertainty surrounding the manager’s own future.

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