Rotherham boss impressed that boyhood club Norwich City have lasted the promotion pace
He may be a Norwich City fan at heart but Rotherham boss Paul Warne admits he has been impressed at the way Daniel Farke's leaders have lasted the pace in the Championship promotion race.
The former Diss Town and Wroxham forward is preparing his relegation battling Millers for a clash with the Canaries tomorrow, buoyed by a 2-1 win at QPR in midweek, and knows they face a tough proposition.
“I think they are probably, not the over-achievers, just the surprise package,” said Warne. “I don’t think anyone is that surprised about Leeds, I’m personally not that surprised about Sheffield United.
“But Norwich, on their day, when they play the ball and are just really patient with it, if I’m honest I thought they would start okay but through the November to January period when the weather changes and the games become a little uglier, I thought they might struggle with that.
“But that’s pretty offensive to say that now because that hasn’t been the case and the way they’ve played and been set out, they average two goals a game and that’s pretty impressive in any league.
“Pukki, their centre-forward, is probably the outstanding player in the league at the moment, he can score goals but he works really hard out of possession of the ball and I just think there’s a real balance to their team.
“So I am surprised that they’re up there but not over recent months, if that makes sense. If you’d have asked me in September, would I expect Norwich to be there, I’d have said no but the way they are now I don’t expect them to drop many points going forward.”
The Millers took the lead at Carrow Road in December but eventually succumbed to a 3-1 defeat and heir manager, a former North Walsham High School pupil, is looking forward to another shot at upsetting his boyhood team.
“My mother and father can’t come, regrettably, but I have some friends coming up and now the last games are out of the way I’ll have a few text messages off a few people, so there will be a Warne collective at the ground,” he told BBC Radio Sheffield.
“It’s always a fixture we look for, all my family and friends back home in Norfolk want to see it – and they obviously want to win as well, but not as badly as I do.”