BOSS Paul Warne has praised the impact of his coaching team as the Millers head into tonight’s tussle with Oxford United looking to extend their unbeaten run to 12 games.
Assistant manager Richie Barker and first team coach Matt Hamshaw are responsible for a large amount of the work done on the training paddock throughout the week, with instructions and direction from Warne.
And the Millers manager is full of admiration for the work his backroom team have done with the squad which has yielded a run of eight wins and three draws, propelling them into fifth spot in League One and firmly into the promotion mix.
Speaking ahead of tonight’s clash, Warne told the Advertiser: “Richie is the grumpy cop to my happy cop.
“He fundamentally does most of the coaching. He coaches them the way I want the lads to play and takes the majority of the sessions.
Paul Warne salutes the away end after Saturday's 2-1 win at Scunthorpe.
“He analyses the opposition and works out the weaknesses. Because he’s been a manager as well he is a good sounding board for me, so are (goalkeeping coach) Mike Pollitt, John Breckin and Matt Hamshaw really.
“Richie is more hands-on, he’s more shorts whereas I’m more tracksuit, which is probably the best way to explain it.
“His influence is massive. I think I’ve assembled an excellent staff. My fitness coach, my two physios, my sports scientist and analyst, they’ve all gained experience, they’re not wet behind the ears, but they’re at the right age to be ridiculously enthusiastic, they’re really hard working.
“Richie is like super-coach.”
Oxford travel to the AESSEAL New York Stadium having won only one of their last four league matches and are still without a manager following the sacking of former Leeds assistant manager Pep Clotet last month.
But Warne is well aware of the threats 12th-placed Oxford will bring as they look to halt the Millers’ fine form.
Warne added: “Oxford haven’t had a great February results-wise but they did get a 3-2 win at Charlton.
“We watched the Charlton game and they really do press. They’re a young athletic team and the way they have been playing is more like a 4-2-3-1 really.
“They can pass through the pitch but don’t give you a minute’s peace on the ball so the lads are well aware from the first whistle it will be game on.”
Warne expects to be picking from the same squad that was available for Saturday’s win at Scunthorpe with no fresh injury problems in the squad.
You can follow all of the action as it happens and catch the post-match reaction on our live blog.