Paul Warne: Will getting Derby County promotion make Rams boss a League One guru?

Paul Warren is the first managerial appointment of derby owner David Close

Paul Warren doesn’t see himself as a “League One promotion expert” — well, not until Derby County is back in the championship.

“If I could do that [promotion] “One more time, then I will definitely get that title,” he said with a broad smile during his introductory press conference as Rams’ new head coach.

“Three out of three, I don’t know. Four out of four is very good. It’s a nice thing to say.”

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Warren’s three seasons in the English third tier ended with Rotherham leading him to the championship.

Although he has never managed to keep Mills’ side at the second tier – operating on a modest budget in a consortium of more liberal spenders chasing Premier League fortunes – his achievements with South Yorkshire club made him a sought-after manager, one who refused to be approached by clubs Compete leagues to drop the class again and get the derby job.

In a nearly hour-long session with the media on Tuesday, Warren laughed at the myths, talked about the club’s Premier League ambitions, talked about tactics and philosophies, and shed tears about how proud his late father was of taking on the derby – following in the footsteps of the late great Brian Clough.

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The decision to leave Rotherham, where he had been in charge for nearly six years, was a “difficult” and “tough” one for the 49-year-old.

“I left the club to which I gave my heart and soul for six years,” he told BBC Radio Derby.

“It had to be something that worked for me and my staff – a progressive club, something we could have a real impact on, on and off the pitch – something we could build culturally.

“It seemed like a good opportunity that we couldn’t miss.”

Warren said the coaching staff around him – Richie Parker, Matt Hamshaw and Andy Warrington – had a say in the move. Warren said that calling for any of them not to leave Millers for Derby was enough to turn down the job.

“They’re my best friends,” Warren said of the trio. “I had a desk, it wasn’t a manager’s desk, it was a coaches desk. I had the same seat as everyone else around the table.

“I am a rather passive leader, I take everyone’s opinion very seriously, so it was imperative that we all come or not all. I don’t want to waste a day of my life making a bad decision. Everyone was really eager for the new challenge.”

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It’s Pride Park – with the Derby team rebuilding under new owner David Close, after spending more than nine months in management and suffering relegation to the Third Division for the first time since the 1980s – Warren says he and his coaches “have the most realistic” chance of making it into the league. English.

“I feel like this, not as a dreamer but as an optimist,” Warren told BBC East Midlands Today. “You have checked all the boxes.”

“I don’t have to change much”

Clowes, the Derbyshire real estate developer and lifelong Rams fan who knocked the club out of management, was the one who convinced Warren to leave the Millers’ eighth-placed side for a hastily formed team that could handle football in League One. .

Derby had only five first-team players on the records when Clowes took charge less than a month before the season started.

“I didn’t have to change much,” Warren said of the 11th-placed derby, whose rebuilding was overseen by interim president Liam Rosenior.

“I’m not going in with the team down 10 points and 24, they’re in a good position. I’m very lucky that Liam and the club did a great job in the summer, recruiting really good people – the people you want to work with.

“What made it? [Clowes] Selling the club to me is that he wants the fact that we [Warne and staff] He was very good in the first league and liked my moral compass and integrity, which means more to me than anything else.”

“The owner-manager relationship is essential. David’s perfect morals and integrity, which he sees in me, scratched the right itch in my mind.”

And it proved enough to bring him to a club that previously said they were ‘frustrated’ at not being relegated last year, with the club surviving the championship on the final day of the 2020-21 season – an escape from that. Pushing competitors to take action against rams for loss of income due to violations of the financial rules in Pride Park.

When asked about the post-match comment, which continues to circulate on social media, he said seeing Sheffield Wednesday, with friend Darren Moore at the helm, sparked the reaction.

“I was disappointed that Derby didn’t do it [go down], “he said again on Tuesday.” They were a little unpopular, that’s right.

“The truth was more – you can see in all my interviews, I’m really honest and not trying to sugar-coat anything – and when I was told my derby had survived, and Sheffield Wednesday went down, I was like ‘Oh my God’.

“That was my honest feeling at the time. It’s not a hatred of the derby, and obviously if that was the case, I wouldn’t have left a very safe job in the tournament – the eighth with a game in hand – to come here.”

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