ROTHERHAM United are waiting and hoping over two new signings as they look to wrap up their recruitment for the Championship campaign.
A bid has been made to land a midfielder on a permanent deal and they are also trying to bring in a frontman on loan.
The Millers, who kick off in the second tier at Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday have brought in six players since their promotion from League One in June and manager Paul Warne says two more would virtually wrap up the club’s business.
“Hopefully I should find out about a loan striker in the next 24 hours,” the boss said on Wednesday morning. “We’ve brought in only one loan so far.
“Also, I’m hopefully going to find out about another midfielder in the next 24 hours. I’m not convinced that either will be done by the weekend.
“I’d like the deals to be wrapped up ‘rapido’ but my experience is that we’ll be competing with other teams. I’m hopeful that we’ve got two new faces coming in pretty soon, and then I’m pretty close to being where I want to be.”
Rotherham are admirers of Ross County frontman Ross Stewart but the Advertiser understands the loan target is an English player.
The Millers have long coveted a return for last season’s midfield loan star, Dan Barlaser, but have been waiting for a verdict from parent club Newcastle United on whether they are prepared to part company with the 23-year-old who is in the final year of his contract.
Rotherham were boosted this week by the return to training on Monday of right-back Matt Olosunde after a groin injury while midfielder Ben Wiles is due to resume today (Thursday) after hamstring trouble.
Meanwhile, Saturday’s clash at Adams Park sees two of English football’s longest-serving managers go head to head.
Wycombe’s Gareth Ainsworth tops the list for longevity while Warne is eighth. No other bosses in the second tier have been in charge of their clubs for as long as the pair.
“That’s pretty strange, innit?” Warne said. “I think it shows how cut-throat the Championship is.
“If a club think they should be promoted and it doesn’t happen, they sack their manager. It happens all the time.
“Maybe our owners have more of a long-term view rather than just looking for short-term benefits.”
Ainsworth was appointed Wycombe manager in November 2012 while Warne took the hot-seat at AESSEAL New York Stadium in November 2016.
Top ten: Ainsworth, Sean Dyche (Burnley), John Coleman (Accrington Stanley), Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool), Mark Cooper (Forest Green Rovers), Chris Wilder (Sheffield United), Pep Guardiola (Manchester City), Warne, David Artell (Crewe Alexandra), Tony Mowbray (Blackburn Rovers).
l PAUL Warne has nothing but admiration for rival boss Gareth Ainsworth but won’t be asking him for fashion tips.
The Wycombe Wanderers manager led the Chairboys to promotion from League One last term at the same time as the Rotherham United chief was taking up the Millers and the pair clash at Adams Park on Saturday on Championship opening day.
Ainsworth, who plays guitar and sings in a rock band in his spare time, is famous for wearing leather jackets and colourful footwear on the touchline.
“He isn’t a manager I phone or speak to, but he is one I really like,” Warne said. “He’s a bit like me in that he’s a bit quirky. I don’t think I could pull off the red shoes like he does, though!
“When I was a player years ago, I spoke to him a couple of times. He was really good friends with a Millers teammate of mine, Stewart Talbot.
“He definitely treats his players in a way that I respect. He gets the most out of his players and he has built a culture where it’s about the team, not individuals.
“I’ve got a lot of time for him.”
HOW CHAMP CASH HAS HELPED CLUB BEAT CORONAVIRUS
CHAIRMAN Tony Stewart has spelled out the financial benefits of Rotherham United’s promotion as they prepare for their new life in the Championship.
The Millers will begin their second-tier season playing in an empty stadiums because of the coronavirus pandemic.
But the extra money they receive from the EFL and TV companies for competing at a higher level means they can comfortably survive the lack of spectators.
“Going up has been a saviour really,” Stewart said. “I don’t mind saying this: financially, we’re better off playing in the Championship with no crowd than we would be playing in League One with a full crowd. That’s the difference in the two divisions.”
The Rotherham owner will be at Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday’s opening day and can’t wait for the action to commence.
The Millers are looking to stay up in the Championship after two failed attempts and have made six signings, with more on the way.
“I think the preparation this time has been superb,” Stewart said. “We didn’t play our last nine games in League One last season but the Championship restarted.
“That gave us the opportunity to look at our future opposition. It also gave our recruitment department time to prepare. They have spent their time wisely working with the manager and his staff.
“We’re about ready. There should be one or two more players to come in, but we’re in a good place already. We’ve seemed to have been fortunate in that we got who we went for. We struck early.”
Saturday sees Rotherham in league action for the first time since early March and Stewart, who has just come out of self-isolation after a holiday in France, admitted: “I have missed football.
“It’s not just the football. I’ve missed the usual pre-season events as well. Because of coronavirus, there was no year-end get-together of chairmen in Portugal like there normally is. That is a nice event. Well, it is if you’ve done well!
“We got promotion and it would have been nice going over there sticking your chest out. I don’t mind a pat on the back now and again.
“Obviously, though, because of what has happened in the world, it hasn’t been the time for that.”
The Advertiser understands new contracts for manager Paul Warne, assistant boss Richie Barker and coach Matt Hamshaw have been finalised and that a club announcement could be made next week.
Meanwhile, flexi tickets, which will give supporters access to games when spectators are finally allowed back into grounds, are around the 2,700 mark. Every season-ticket-holder from last season is entitled to them and there is no need to rush to purchase one.