Cinema trip and squash game allowed Warne to relax before steering Rotherham to Wembley
PUBLISHED: 08:47 17 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:22 17 May 2018
Paul Warne is 'really proud' that he has led Rotherham to Wembley but admits a trip to the cinema and a game of squash were needed ahead of last night's play-off clash with Scunthorpe.
The Millers sealed their League One semi-final success at the New York Stadium, following up a 2-2 draw in the first leg with a 2-0 win to set up a final against Shrewsbury Town.
For Norwich-born Warne, who played for Wroxham and Diss before making it as a professional, it keeps alive the chance to bounce back to the Championship at the first attempt.
Goals from Richard Wood and Will Vaulks either side of half-time secured a Wembley clash with the Shrews – who finished seven points and a place better off than the Millers in third – on Sunday, May 27.
“It feels a little bit surreal, it hasn’t sunk in yet, I am really proud,” Warne said. “When I go in and see my staff, it will sink in.
“To finish the season with a final at Wembley is something that can’t be taken off me.
“I am pleased for a lot of people. It is nice after the 12 months of last year of real suffering. At least this year we have given the fans something to be proud of.
“To get to Wembley is pretty amazing, if I don’t achieve anything else I have definitely achieved that. I am proud of that now. We can just have a real go and hopefully make the town proud.”
Warne, who took over in November 2016 after Alan Stubbs and Kenny Jackett left in the space of six weeks, was left to pick up the pieces.
He was unable to prevent relegation to League One but has led the Millers on a promotion push, despite losing 13-goal top scorer Kieffer Moore in January, when Ipswich sold the loanee to Barnsley.
Now the man who won the FA Vase with Diss at the old Wembley in 1994 is heading back to the national stadium, where he will face a Shrewsbury team featuring Norwich City loanees Ben Godfrey and Carlton Morris.
“In the office before the game I was pooing bricks!” he admitted, speaking to PA Sport.
“I was so nervous I went to the cinema this morning to watch Deadpool 2 with the missus, which is excellent by the way, and I played squash this afternoon to take my mind off it.
“But I’m really proud tonight. We tried to get a group together who were proud to wear the shirt, wear the badge.
“We’ve put smiles on people’s faces and now we’re finishing with a trip to Wembley.”