Rotherham United columns: Paul Warne and Will Vaulks

By Paul Davis | 29/11/2018

Rotherham United columns: Paul Warne and Will Vaulks
Paul Warne

HERE are excerpts of the columns of Millers manager Paul Warne and stand-in captain Will Vaulks that appeared in last week's Advertiser

Paul Warne:

THE day after next Tuesday's home match against Queens Park Rangers, I will have been manager of this great club for two years.

Who'd have thought that when I was asked to help out as caretaker boss when Kenny Jackett left in November 2016? Certainly not me.

The Advertiser's Paul Davis asked me what the best thing is about being in the hot-seat.

A good thing about being a manager — and I haven't done it for long after being a water-boy for years — is that, apart from the chairman, I'm not really answerable to anyone. It's like you're a self-employed boss, which is quite nice.

But that, flipped, is also one of the worst parts of the job because then I'm responsible for everything.

When you go to other games as a manager, you get a much better seat and you get to park at the ground. At Championship games, you also get a good spread.

Sheffield Wednesday had a good cheeseboard. Aston Villa always put on a curry thing. I'd miss that.

The absolute best thing about being in the job is that I work with good friends every day.

The worst thing is when I hear criticism of players or my staff or myself or the club that I know isn't true and there is nothing I can do about it.

I saw someone say on Twitter, for example, that we paid 50 grand for Smudge (Michael Smith), which isn't true. We didn't pay anything for him. That kind of thing gripes me.

A fan phoned up to say our season tickets are the most expensive in the league. That's not true. People might question why Woody (Richard Wood) didn't play, but they don't know that he had the flu or something.

You couldn't say he'd got the flu in your press conference because you don't want the other manager to know.

I have to try to stay away from Twitter, the radio and newspapers. But that isn't who I am. I like all those things. I like knowing what people think.

But I can't have it both ways. That's a downside of the job, definitely.

And I think everyone thinks you're virtually 24/7. No-one wants to work 24/7. I have got an acceptance that in this job you work long hours, but sometimes you just don't want your phone to ring.

If I left, I'd probably go back on Twitter. I love Twitter and I hate Twitter. It just spawns poisonous people. It's bordering on toxic. My son is a huge Rothers fan and follows the players and some of the fans in the crowd and I hate to think of him reading some of the criticism.

It's too personal for me to be on Twitter as Rotherham manager.

 

DESPITE being nearly two years into the job, I still find matchdays tough.

Last year I dreaded matchdays and this year I dread matchdays.

I don't actually really mean that. When I say 'dread' it's like the nervous anticipation really. You're okay through the week but Saturdays are hard.

Nearly every manager I have spoken to this season, I ask them if they enjoy the job and they always say matchdays are tough. Believe me, they are tough.

I swear that every matchday takes a week off my life so that's two years less that I've got left!

This doesn't mean I'm not confident in my team doing well. I have every faith in my players giving their all. It's just the fear of the unknown.

I so desperately want the lads to do well for the club that it adds to the pressure.

 

Will Vaulks:

YOU might remember that I missed the last match before the international break through suspension. The lads did well at Blackburn Rovers. A 1-1 draw was a good result.

I hated not being there. I had originally planned on going but then had family commitments. I was following the game on Twitter and on Sky TV's Soccer Saturday.

I was also texting the Advertiser's Paul Davis and one of the Millers' media men, Sam Todd, so I could get a flavour of what it was like from people who were watching it live.

I was checking the Twitter and BBC feeds on my phone, I had the Sky Sports app on as well. It was horrible. I didn't like it at all. It sounded like Blackburn had about five attempts cleared off the line.

It was weird watching Jeff Stelling on Soccer Saturday. That's what most of my mates do on a Saturday afternoon.

It's probably what most fans do when they're not at an away game. But for me it felt alien sat there watching the scores come in. It gave me an insight into what other people go through when I'm out there playing.

It was through good old Jeff that I found out we'd taken the lead. He said 'We're going to Ewood Park' and I thought 'Oh no' because, from what I'd been reading, Blackburn were on top.

Then they said Smudge (Michael Smith) had scored! I was sat with my missus's step-dad, shouted 'Get in' and was jumping around the room.

It was a bit different when the news came through that Blackburn had equalised. I had to watch my language then.

But, by the sound of it, we might have lost the game had we not scored first, so it was a good point.

 

PAUL Davis asked me if I have any aspirations to earn a Welsh cap. The answer is, yes, I suppose I do.

I was involved with Wales as a kid. I was with the under-16s and got called up for the U-18 squad. Then when I went up to Scotland to play for Falkirk it went completely quiet. In that age group, the selectors tend to go for players in South Wales — the ones with Swansea City and Cardiff City.

I'm just as proud of my Welsh side as I am my English side. My mum is full Welsh, my dad is full English. I'm no more English than I am Welsh. I love to see Wales doing well. My grandad was a massive fan of the rugby union team.

Their football team is so strong at the moment that I can't see me being called up in the near future, but playing for them is something I've thought about.

I'm playing in the Championship. If I want to kick on in my career, which I do, a Wales call would take care of itself.

There has been no communication with the national set-up. I'm just assuming they don't know I'm Welsh! I'm joking. I'm nowhere near it yet.

There are some big names in the squad. I've got to kick on and play really, really well at Championship level.

 

WHAT an exciting time it is to be following the England national team. It was great to see them qualify for the finals of the UEFA Nations League by coming from behind to beat Croatia at Wembley.

There's a completely different feeling to anything I've experienced in my lifetime. It's not just the success at this year's World Cup — because there have been little bits of success in the past — it's the whole style of play and the connection with the fans.

It's not quite all-out Barcelona-style football because we don't really have the players to do that, but they're passing the ball well. Set-plays are important to them. They can mix it up.

There is some good, young talent in there for manager Gareth Southgate (pictured) to pick from.

A couple of players have played in the Championship and lower leagues earlier in their careers.

I think that's important, to bring talent through like that.

 

MY fiancee, Alex, and I took the chance during the international break to check out potential wedding venues.

It went quite well. Hopefully, we are nearly there.

We looked at four places in Italy and found one we really liked. It was a nice trip, a nice break — a bit of rest and not too much work

We hired a little car, drove around and explored a little bit. It was nice to see Italy at a time of year when you wouldn't normally go. We've gone for a venue in the countryside, somewhere with a nice rustic vibe and lovely Italian food.

It's not completely finalised yet. The fact I proposed in Italy played a part in our decision to get married there as well, but mainly it's the food! That, the weather and the nice, relaxed atmosphere.


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