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Rotherhams Rampant Run

Led by Paul Warne, Rotherham are looking towards their third promotion to the Championship in five years

Rotherham currently sit third in League 1, with two games in hand on second-placed Sunderland, and 1 point behind the league leaders, Wigan.

Having the best goal difference in the division and an unbeaten run of 21 games in all competitions before Christmas, it is clear Paul Warne is desperate for his third promotion with Rotherham.

Creating Change

Paul Warne, only 48-years-old, is in his fifth season in charge of the club. After a tight relegation battle last season that ended in disappointment, Warne will be desperate to show doubters his side can prove themselves in the Championship.

Having a side that has experienced promotion on two previous occasions, they are equipped with the expertise to achieve it for a third time. With a settled core of Richard Wood, Joe Mattock, Ben Wiles and Michael Smith, Warne has a squad that believes in his ideals and are players that he can trust.

Paul understands that any side looking for promotion need elements of luck, periods when everything goes their way. But he is implementing important coaching ideas to help swing the favour towards his side.

With his trusted assistants, Richie Barker and Matt Hamshaw, they have created pride in Rotherham, as a club and the wider community. There is now greater respect for the club and what it can achieve. 

Emotional Leadership

Paul Warne, without any tangible qualifications when taking on the job, has relied on his leadership skills to foster momentum and a cohesive squad. He is a modern manager, and like his contemporaries, understands the need for warm man-management. 

Unlike soccer of the past, where an understanding of how players feel was considered “soft”, it is now an extremely intelligent tool for any manager. Paul understands this and has used this to create a family spirit at Rotherham.

At Liverpool, Klopp is the fatherly figure, whilst Pochettino’s Tottenham side were the ultimate familial unit. Both are examples of how it can bring the very best out of a team.

Paul Warne has aimed to introduce emotional intelligence into his Rotherham side. He wants his players to care about each other and the wider staff at Rotherham. Understanding what motivates each individual, is it their family or a certain ideal, perhaps? This can help foster a dogged spirit for the team when you truly need it and has helped Rotherham succeed.

Soccer Isn’t Everything

As a late comer to the game, Paul Warne turned professional at 23, he does not consider himself as a soccer person. Unlike his players, soccer isn’t everything.

This distance with the game has helped him as a leader. Not only does it allow him to be able to discuss a broader range of interests with his Rotherham squad but also provides an understanding that winning a game isn’t the sole defining moment in one’s life. 

Although passion is key to success in soccer, there needs to be a grounding that prevents it from becoming all-consuming. If you are becoming too stressed, concerned about results, then your leadership and judgement will become clouded. A leader needs clarity and this can sometimes be aided by ensuring breaks away from the game. 

Creating a healthy work-life balance is important to us all. In soccer, like all sport at the highest level, this can be very difficult to achieve. But Warne is eager to try his best to instigate this at Rotherham, creating a happy, healthy and ultimately successful Rotherham side. 

Bright Future for Rotherham

This forward-thinking approach to management will surely bring success to the club. And so far, results are proving this very point. 

With Richard Hairyes following on from Matt Hamshaw, introducing this philosophy into the academy, young players will be able to slot into the first team in the near future. These players will not only be great soccer talents but will also have an understanding of how to play together as a cohesive team.

The academy is a proud achievement for Rotherham, who have worked hard to get it to the level it currently is and this passion for youth will always reap great rewards and a bright future for the club.

If Rotherham are able to gain promotion for the third time in five years, then it will be an incredible achievement for a club that has struggled in previous years. It will also be a testament to Paul Warne and his approach to soccer, where the wellbeing of the player comes first. Results are achieved from happy, healthy and cohesive squads and not the reverse.

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