SO there you have it - Paul Warne is the new manager of Rotherham United, and the man tasked with moulding a competitive squad in League One next season.
In what has been termed 'the worst kept secret in football', the man who was thrown into the firepit following the shock resignation of Kenny Jackett in late November now has the chance to show what he can do longer term.
READ: Warne becomes permanent Rotherham United boss
Relegation from the Championship was on the cards long before Warne somewhat reluctantly took the hotseat and well before Saturday's official confirmation.
From the disastrous summer when Neil Warnock delayed his decision, to Alan Stubbs' late appointment and the shambles of a transfer window. From postponed fixtures to a depleted squad heading to a training camp in Poland, it was one bad decision after another.
Alan Stubbs was sacked as Rotherham United manager after 13 games
Some say Warne was made the scapegoat, hung out to dry like a lamb ready for slaughter.
Whatever your views on him as a coach, it says a lot about the man that he stood up, shouldered the blame and took responsibility when more experienced, savvy coaches bolted before their office seat had time to warm.
The fans are angry. Some are really angry, and rightly so. This season has been a cocktail of disasters, as chairman Tony Stewart pointed out to this reporter half an hour after relegation was confirmed.
Social media and fans' forums are awash with protest threads, threats of not renewing season tickets and boycotting the final game against Derby.
But personally, I would feel morally uncomfortable judging Warne on this season alone.
Realistically, he was given no chance. Indeed, I actually believe that had the late, great Alf Ramsey sprung back from the grave and taken the NYS hotseat following Jackett's disappearing act, the Millers would still be playing League One football next season.
Kenny Jackett left his role as manager after just 39 days
His record isn't good. Three wins, one draw and 19 losses in 23 matches isn't the best audition period.
But the mitigating circumstances effectively tied both hands behind the former fitness coach and players' back.
Warne has now been handed the task of rejuvenating the Milllers, giving fans back their club and making them a competitive force in League One.
He could fail... but so could any older merry-go-round boss who has plenty of League One experience. He could be a success... but so could an outside appointment. There is absolutely no way of predicting the future.
VIEW: Timeline of Warne's career so far
The only certainty is that the club feels Warne is the right man for the job, and for that, I will reserve any judgements on his ability until he has his own squad, his own staff and his own pre-season.
Until then, he is serving his apprenticeship, learning on the job, making mistakes, but giving his all to the club he loves.
For me, he deserves a fair crack of the whip for the amount of turmoil he has been through this season.
Warne will know better than anyone that eyes will be on him next season, and rightly so. He's a manager now, and he has to accept the criticisms that come with the role.
But if he can sculpt a team that mirrors his own desire, determination and spirit, then fans should have their beloved Millers back.
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