Following a return to the Sky Bet Championship at the first time of asking, Paul Warne admitted that he still has to convince himself he has what it takes to be a football manager.
The 45-year-old Rotherham boss, who took the job following the departure of Kenny Jackett in November 2016 having been a fitness coach at the club, guided his side to promotion in Sunday’s League One Play-Off Final.
A brace from Richard Wood ensured Rotherham’s 2-1 success over Shrewsbury Town at Wembley Stadium, with the game being won in extra-time.
“I’ve questioned myself a number of times and it was the chairman that convinced me I had attributes to be a good manager,” Warne explained.
“I still try to convince myself of that most days. Last year was tough but we’ve had an amazing season – even if we didn’t win [on Sunday] we would’ve been proud.
“In the summer, I recruited players and personalities that I wanted, staff that I wanted and people who bought into my humanistic approach to life and football. I surrounded myself with good people.
“The key is to delegate and get good people around you. I’m a very small cog in a very big wheel, because can take advice from Richie Barker, Mike Pollitt, Matt Hamshaw and John Breckin – I have a good support network.
“I’m trying to grow into the role and to finish the season with a final at Wembley… that is something that nobody can take off of any of the lads.”
Warne also took time to praise his match-winning captain Wood, but it wasn’t long before attentions turned to the 2018/19 season.
In their last Championship campaign, a poor start to the season led Rotherham to a bottom-placed finish, relegated with just 23 points to show for their efforts.
“He is a unique centre-back in today’s football, and he is worth more than the sum of his parts both on and off the pitch,” Warne said of Wood, before analysing the road ahead for Rotherham.
“I’m more than aware of the difficulties that lie ahead, and although I’ve got no plans to rip this group apart we will need to bring some players in. I know how difficult that league is and what we’re competing against.
“It’d be good to get another good preseason and then start the season well, because now we are used to winning football matches.”