MANAGER Paul Warne has promised that Rotherham United won’t tamper with a successful formula now the play-offs are here.
The primary aim of tomorrow’s semi-final first leg away to Scunthorpe United is to be at least level going into next Wednesday’s return at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.
But the attack-minded Warne doesn’t intend inviting trouble by going out and playing for a draw, decent a result as that would be against opponents who have shown a marked improvement under the caretaker management of his old Millers team-mate, Nick Daws.
"Neither myself nor Dawsy will want to take a deficit into the second game but that doesn't mean we will play any differently," said the Millers boss.
"If we play just to defend and not to concede, no team at this level can handle 100 minutes of pressure. We have to cause them problems as well.
"We don't approach it massively differently and I think we can only play one way really, but in the same way you can't win it in the first game or lose it in the first game.
"I might be tempting fate here but unless there is a freak result, it goes to the second leg.
Fit again...Joe Newell is part of a near full-strength Millers squad.
"We've gone through the same preparation this week as we would normally do and hopefully we'll give the lads enough information to take onto the pitch and get a good result."
Warne already has his starting 11 in mind and has another option now winger Joe Newell is fully fit.
Although Rotherham have beaten Scunthorpe twice this season and finished five points better off in League One, he acknowledged both were close games and that there is very little between both sides.
“I think both 11s cancel each other out, there is not much between them. If you ask me if I would take some of Nick’s players, I would, and I think he would take some of mine.
“We respect each other’s teams. Scunny have played a similar way all season. We’ve played a couple of different ways and you know me, I’m not afraid to stick Semi Ajayi up front if I think that will work for us. I may be a bit more of a gambler, I don’t know, but that’s probably inexperience.
Paul Warne with old Rotherham clubmate Paul Hurst. His Shrewsbury side hold a 1-0 lead after last night's play-off semi-final first leg at Charlton.
“Overall I think they’re two good squads. Scunthorpe have been in the top six for about two years now and generally they have been the blueprint for this league. They are really consistent and hard to break down.”
Rotherham will be backed by 1,600 supporters tomorrow and Warne says they have a massive part to play.
“They can get behind the team and make it feel like a cup final, like they have in a lot of away games this year. It does fire the lads up. These are two massive games and we need all the vocal support we can get.”
Kick-off is at the earlier time of 12.30pm.
Check out the 28-page sports section in this week’s Advertiser for all the build-up to the big game and don’t forget to keep tabs on our Live Matchday Blog from lunchtime tomorrow.
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