Rotherham United: Old-fashioned Warnock has Millers ready to go again
Manager Neil Warnock is putting laptops and computer read-outs to one side as he prepares his Rotherham United squad for the next step in their fight for Championship safety.
The Millers head to Ipswich Town on Saturday for their fourth match in a row against play-off contenders.
And their 67-year-old boss is extolling “old-fashioned” virtues as they look to bridge the one-point gap between them and a survival spot.
He is going easy on training this week after his players’ heroic efforts against Derby County last Saturday when they fought back in the dying minutes from a 3-0 deficit to force a 3-3 draw.
“The IT guys, they tell me how far we have run and what ground we have covered,” he said. “I think we have gone off the barometer against Derby.”
But he was using the instinct borne out of years of management when he prescribed extra rest and relaxation in the build-up the clash with the Tractor Boys, after an energy-sapping spell of three games in eight days.
“They have got to rest. We will be resting, old-fashioned wise,” he said. “They will probably have two days off this week.
“They’ll be better off taking the kids to school. It’s old-fashioned management, I think the lads will enjoy it. They’ve given me everything.”
The Warnock way is certainly working for the Millers who have taken 10 points from their last four fixtures. After seeing off Brentford, they faced Sheffield Wednesday, Middlesbrough and the Rams in quick succession, beating the Owls and Boro before that famous fightback against Darren Wassall’s side
He and No.2 Kevin Blackwell have been in charge for seven matches and have nine games left to complete an amazing escape act for third-bottom Rotherham who at one stage were six points adrift of 21st-placed MK Dons.
Supporters can’t ever remember a Millers comeback quite like the one seen at AESSEAL New York Stadium where Danny Ward and Leon Best, twice, scored in a devastating nine-minute spell, including Best’s game-saving header in time added on.
Spirited Rotherham had been second best against Derby, but refused to give in before launching their unforgettable response.
“That’s what South Yorkshire football is about; it’s about passion,” Warnock said. “A guy said to me coming off: ‘Warnock, I have never seen anything like that in 20 years.’ I said: ‘Stick around.’”
Meanwhile, Rotherham United’s Community Sports Trust have been nominated for the Johnstone’s Paint Football League Community Club of the Year award.
Having won the prize in 2012, they face competition this year from Burnley, Burton Albion, Charlton Athletic, Brighton and Cardiff City.
“A big factor is the work we have put together around supporting individuals with mental-health issues, using sport as a vehicle to reduce the effects of the condition,” said Millers head of community Jamie Noble.
The winner will be announced on April 17.