Rotherham United manager Paul Warne on Freddie Ladapo and the potential for a fan backlash at AESSEAL New York Stadium

Rotherham United manager Paul Warne on Freddie Ladapo and the potential for a fan backlash at AESSEAL New York Stadium

By Paul Davis | 17/01/2022

Rotherham United manager Paul Warne on Freddie Ladapo and the potential for a fan backlash at AESSEAL New York Stadium
Freddie Ladapo

BOSS Paul Warne is hoping supporters lay off the abuse if transfer-seeking Freddie Ladapo returns to the Rotherham United team tonight.

The striker has asked to leave the club in the January transfer window but could make his first Millers appearance this evening since going public with his desire to depart.

"I think whoever puts a Rotherham shirt on should be supported by the fans," said Warne whose team face Lincoln City at AESSEAL New York Stadium. "However, I do understand why the fans would be upset.

"I would not ask them to sing his name if they are unhappy with him, but it doesn't give any benefit to the team if they boo him.

"Respectfully, they'll choose to do whatever they do. They pay their money. I would rather them sing songs and cheer the team for 90 minutes rather than use any energy on trying to make a player feel uncomfortable."

Ladapo had scored 12 goals and helped the Millers to the summit of League One before submitting a transfer request on January 2. The news was leaked four days later.

Warne dropped him from the starting 11 and the record signing was an unused substitute at QPR in the FA Cup on January 8 and at Fleetwood in the league on Saturday.

Tonight will be the first time Rotherham followers have had their chance to vent their feelings in a home clash.

"I don't know how the fans are going to react," Warne said. "I can't ask them to react the way I want them to because they are all human beings with their own opinions.

"In fairness to Freddie, he hasn't stuck his fingers up at the crowd or 'dissed' them in any way. He hasn't got any angst with the fans. I don’t know how much they will have with him.

"It is a difficult one. When you are a football fan, you cannot understand why anyone would not want to play at your club for the rest of their lives.

"If we had Harry Kane here, the fans would be saying: 'Why do you want to go to the Premier League? You can get us promoted to the Prem."

The boss praised the centre-forward's approach during the difficult last fortnight.

"Freddie's attitude has been exemplary," he said. "He has trained really well and given his all. He hasn't been a problem, and I wouldn't expect him to be."

Meanwhile, Warne, accompanied by assistant manager Richie Barker and coach Matt Hamshaw, drove to Sunderland last Tuesday to watch Lincoln beat the promotion-chasing Black Cats 3-1.

Barker said: "They deserved the win. They handled the pressure of playing in front of 30,000 people at the Stadium of Light very well.

"You know what you're going to get from them - they are extremely comfortable in possession and they will try to play."



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