Norfolk boy Warne's Wembley win has him already casting an eye over Canaries assets
Barely minutes after his Rotherham United side earned Championship promotion at Wembley, Paul Warne was looking to a Norwich City future.
The Norwich born and bred Millers’ boss booked an immediate Championship return for the Yorkshire side over a Shrewsbury Town side indebted to their Canaries’ loanees, Ben Godfrey and Carlton Morris – who played under Warne while on loan at United last season.
And although a well deserved holiday beckons following a 2-1 win, Warne has a recruitment meeting to attend first.
“What has been a massive success this year, which will be key again next, is the loan market allows you to have players you possibly couldn’t afford,” said the former Diss and Wroxham forward. “They have to be better than what you’ve got, and our three loan players today were excellent.
“Obviously I’d like to keep all them, but I have a funny feeling that might not be as easy as I hope.”
Fortunately, his boyhood club may have a couple of options too – as exemplified at Wembley on Sunday.
“I know they have. They’re not bad are they?” Warne smiled. “I like them to be fair, and being a not-so-closet Norwich fan, I was speaking to one of them as they left the pitch.
“The loan system is essential. But trying to loan Championship players when you are in the champ Championship isn’t easy, for obvious reasons – stipulations and other things make it a bit uglier.
“But with us going up, there’s more chance of me now pushing my targets over the line.”
It was certainly a Norwich affair for Warne at Wembley – both in terms of friends in the stadium and family watching from the fine city.
“I had 12 mates from Norwich come down by the train,” he said. “In fact, when I spoke to my dad a few minutes ago he was already watching the game again. He’s a bit of a fruitcake, but it’s always enjoyable watching it when you know the score and there’s no pressure.
“My mum had to go into the conservatory a couple of times. She couldn’t handle the pressure when it was 1-1, which entertains me. So my worry genes must come from my mum, not my dad.
“It’s a bit heartbreaking for me my father wasn’t well enough to travel down, but they are still proud watching from afar.”
Meanwhile, the anguish of defeat after finishing third and going so close to automatic promotion was written all over Warne’s old Rotherham team-mate and Shrews boss Paul Hurst.
Hurst added: “Going into the game, we both said we’d have preferred if it wasn’t that way. But in the game I had a chat with him and the others. It doesn’t mean you don’t want to win. It just means you’re a human being and a decent person.
“It still felt natural managing out there and I didn’t want anyone to beat us today, but if it was going to be anyone, I am genuinely pleased for those lads.
“Warney had an extremely difficult start to his managerial career, almost being pushed into the job. I think over the season with the success he’s seen and putting that group together – the team spirit doesn’t surprise me one bit because that’s his character – he’s now got that reward and I hope he does want to be a manager now and he enjoys it.
“He’ll certainly enjoy tonight, I’m sure.”
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