Rotherham United are in the midst of a relegation dogfight in the Championship. Sat 22nd in the table, five points adrift of safety, things are looking bleak for the Millers.
It is worth noting, however, that Rotherham have four games in hand on the team just above them, Birmingham City. Unfortunately for Warne and his men, their season has been disrupted by coronavirus more than any other side in the division.
Warne has a challenge on his hands, but this is nothing new. Rotherham have one of the lowest budgets in the division, they are a team who are typically expected to be in a relegation scrap come the business end of the season.
Having lost the last two games against Millwall and Wycombe, Warne is battling – against the odds – to turn the tide and keep Rotherham in the Championship. He is also battling against those that criticise his pragmatic brand of football, something which he admits to finding offensive.
“Cardiff don’t play any better football than us,” remarked Warne. “I read an article the other day and Mick [McCarthy, Cardiff manager] was saying they’re playing this [style of] football now and they’re an unbelievable team, but they play exactly the same as we do.
“They don’t take any unnecessary risks at the back, they don’t play out from goal kicks, they try to get the ball into Kieffer [Moore], as we do with Smudge [Michael Smith], they try to put crosses into the box.
“Teams don’t all have to play the same way.
“The way we play is the best way with the players we have.
“I get offended because I see a lot of teams playing exactly the same way we do but when we get a result the first thing other managers sometimes come out with is: ‘Well, we knew it was going to be difficult because they’re a really physical team.’
“I don’t think we’ve given away more fouls than other teams in the league, we’ve had no more sendings-off, no more bookings. Our set-pieces sometimes get mentioned but every team in the world is good at set-pieces. If not, they’re not coached properly.
“I do get frustrated. I find it wrong. I do.”
Rotherham United travel to Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town on Saturday with a point to prove. Whatever your opinion of Rotherham’s style, it’s hard not to admire their grit and determination, will it be enough to ensure another season of Championship football?