'For me to manage at Carrow Road is a big deal' – Norfolk-born Rotherham boss pumped up for City clash
PUBLISHED: 14:56 29 November 2018 | UPDATED: 17:36 29 November 2018
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Rotherham boss Paul Warne admits his first Carrow Road game as a manager will be a bit special for him this weekend.
Born in Norwich and raised in North Walsham, the 45-year-old played at Carrow Road twice for the Millers but is preparing for his first match in the dug-out.
“I’ve been there loads of times as a player and as a coach in some position, but as a manager it will be a big thing,” Warne admitted.
“All my family and friends are Norwich fans, my brother is a season ticket holder and everything, so it’s always a result we look out for. So for me to come back and manage is a big deal, I won’t pretend it isn’t.
“I remember years ago there was a slim chance that I was going to come and play but it never happened. I was on Bryan Gunn’s list – but every time I spoke to him I was at the bottom of his list, so I was just hoping that everyone above me would get out of the way.
“It would have been unbelievable for me to come and play, I always joked with him that I’d come and play for nothing, I just wanted to wear the tracksuit a few times!
“My father unfortunately can’t go as he’s not well enough to go to the game but I will have loads of family and friends there, and for me to manage at Carrow Road is a big deal, I won’t pretend it isn’t.”
Regardless of his strong Norfolk links, Warne is purely focused on upsetting Daniel Farke’s league leaders, with his team three points clear of the bottom three having drawn eight of their last 10 games.
“I’ve been here 15 years or something now and this club is completely in my soul,” he added. “I’ve been here as a player, the fans have been good with me through good, bad and ugly.
“I remember when we played Norwich at home and I was in charge temporarily and we won 2-1. Although I was a Norwich fan, to beat Norwich was great.
“The funny thing is when we play Ipswich I always get texts off all my mates back home wishing me good luck, so when we take on Ipswich I always feel like I’ve got the whole of Norfolk behind me.
“But there’s no way if we lose at the weekend I’ll come away and think it’s okay because we lost to Norwich, it obviously does matter.
“So I’ll be doing everything I can to try and help us win. As with every game, we go in as the underdog and that’s absolutely fine. We’re playing the team top of the league so we’ll have to go and try to upset the applecart.”