All our chips were in and somehow it came off – Rotherham boss Paul Warne

Posted Monday, April 04, 2022 by PA

All our chips were in and somehow it came off – Rotherham boss Paul Warne

Paul Warne revealed one final, desperate roll of the dice rescued Rotherham in their 4-2 EFL Trophy triumph over Sutton at Wembley.

Frazzled Millers boss Warne likened a last-gasp switch of formation to betting his side’s full stake on one hand, before Jordi Osei-Tutu’s strike in the sixth minute of added time forced extra time.

Sky Bet League Two side Sutton had proved by far the calmer of the sides but they were floored by extra-time goals from Chiedozie Ogbene and Michael Ihiekwe.

“Sutton were so good we had to change our system to 4-4-2,” said Warne.

“It was like Texas Hold ’em: absolutely all our chips were in, and somehow it came off.

“I was quite calm going into the last minute actually, I was working out how I was going to speak to you lot after defeat.

“I considered with about two minutes to go to shake Sutton boss Matt Gray’s hand, to say ‘well done’.

“If they had won and he had gone running onto the pitch at full-time, I wouldn’t have had the chance to say ‘well done’.

“But then I thought I just can’t do that.

“We looked rusty and nervy. And at half-time I just said ‘you’ve got to relax a bit’.

“We just looked a little bit fitter, we just looked like we had healthier players on the pitch in extra time.”

League One leaders Rotherham ought to have strolled this clash, on paper at least.

But Warne admitted the favourites tag is often far tougher to handle than people may realise.

“Sutton were so brave in their shape, and we just had a psychological legginess,” said Warne. “It was nervous exhaustion.

“When you play at Wembley your mouth is already dry before you get onto the pitch. It mounts up in your head. Pressure does affect players.

“You think it’s just not our day, it’s just not our day.

“To score that late on to equalise, it’s absolutely wounded Sutton.

“I thought it was going straight to pens! I started talking to Matt saying ‘have you got any decent penalty takers?’ He said ‘I haven’t got a clue’.

“I’ve given them Monday off, they will be absolutely useless on Tuesday.

“I’m going to get on it, have a pizza and have a sleep. I’m absolutely exhausted. If you’re stood where I was stood, it’s exhilarating, terrifying and disgusting in equal measure.”

Donovan Wilson struck with a neat finish to hand underdogs Sutton the ideal start.

Ben Wiles put Rotherham back on level terms before half-time, only for Craig Eastmond to sneak Sutton into a lead they so nearly carried through to victory.

Rotherham’s superior fitness and conditioning told in extra time, leaving Sutton boss Gray proud but deflated.

“I’m gutted…gutted,” said Gray.

“You’ve got to speak your mind. I am gutted, we were a whisker away from a great performance and walking up those steps winners.

“But we just couldn’t see it out. So I’m gutted for everyone, the players more than anybody.

“Extra time was just a step too far; we’ve had a hell of a lot of games in a short space of time and we had players hanging on at the end.

“But credit to Rotherham and Paul Warne, we have to congratulate them on the day.”


Attention: Third parties may advertise their products and/or services on our website.7M does not warrant the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of their contents.
Your dealings with such third parties are solely between you and such third parties and we shall not be liable in any way for any loss or damage of any sort incurred by you.