Paul Warne searching to find the answers to questions his coaching course won’t have covered

Rotherham boss Paul Warne may have spent the last two weeks theorising about styles of play and other intricacies of the game on his coaching course, but he has a bigger conundrum to solve now he is back to work.

Warne completed a fortnight-long residential curriculum in Belfast to get him up to speed ahead of a first season as a permanent manager but is now back at the New York Stadium and focused on the Millers.

And number one on his ‘to do’ list is unlikely to have been covered by the coaching gurus in Northern Ireland, yet is one that every manager across the country will be trying to do this summer – find a 25-goal striker.

 

The Millers are hoping to bring in three players over the next 48 hours as their summer recruitment finally picks up speed, with Darren Potter, David Ball and another midfielder expected to sign on at the club this week.

Yet, the elusive search for a man who is going to put the ball in the back of the net goes on as Warne plots how to find enough goals in his side to mount a promotion challenge next season.

They have already missed out on a couple of targets, with the selling clubs moving the goalposts, and one of those is Stevenage, who upped their asking price for Matty Godden when the Millers thought they had struck a deal.

Warne, a witness to last season’s diabolical summer of recruitment, knows the pitfalls of a summer of frustration in the transfer market, with some fans ,understandably bearing scars from last year, already getting edgy.

But he knows the sort of calibre he is chasing does not grow on trees, nor does the money needed to sign them.

“Even if you had an unlimited pot of gold and I said to you now get me a number nine who can get me 25 goals, the list would still only be around three or four,” Warne said.

“It is not easy. We are making no end of phone calls, and talking to players, and we are really trying to get them to buy into what I believe.

“Ideally everyone is looking for that 25-goals-a-season striker, which we have attempted to get, but obviously that isn’t easy.”

 

Godden would have fit the bill nicely after he bagged 21 goals in 43 appearances for Stevenage in League Two last term. Their pursuit of the 25-year-old got a long way down the line until Stevenage decided they wanted more money for him, though that deal is not necessarily dead.

Another missed target was Cork City’s Sean Maguire, who opted to join Preston, while it has gone quiet on the club’s chasing of former Sheffield United man Matty Done.

Options at the top of the pitch are a priority for Warne, with the Millers set to lose Danny Ward to Cardiff any day now. Ward’s exit will leave just Jonson Clarke-Harris, Jerry Yates and Dexter Blackstock as their striking choices.

Blackstock in particularly is a costly reminder of what can happen when you don’t get your first-choice targets.

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