ROTHERHAM UNITED manager Paul Warne says he would be ‘flattered’ if Leeds United chose to scout his side’s training-ground preparations – and quipped that he would bring out ‘a cup of tea’ to any observers.
Warne’s Millers side host the Whites on Saturday with the events of ‘Spygate’ likely to heighten the focus at training grounds in the build-up to future games with Leeds between now and the end of the season.
But, as far as Warne is concerned, fretting about covert operations from rival sides is the least of his worries and something which he admits that he cannot control anyway.
A golf club adjoins the Millers training facility at the Roundwood Sports Complex, with members of the public also regularly spotted at sessions.
And Rotherham chief Warne, whose side are one place and two points above the Championship relegation zone, has revealed that he has no plans to beef up training-ground security ahead of Saturday’s derby.
Mindful of the practicalities of being unable to keep the watching public from viewing his own club’s training sessions, Warne said: “I do not know what you can do. Our pitches are next to a golf club.
“What can you do, realistically? If they want to send a drone over, you cannot stop anything, can you? Ours is a training ground with pretty open access.
“I will probably just take any spies a cup of tea and ask them if they want us to go through the set-pieces again in case they missed anything.
“People can come and play golf and conveniently take ages on green eight while we are doing set-pieces.
“I do not think we will change anything. I would be quite flattered if he (Marcelo Bielsa) thinks he needs to watch us.
“I have got two elder gentlemen who come to the training ground every day. I have told them I will give them weapons and full Army gear to protect our border!”
The fall-out from the ‘Spygate’ controversy has continued this week with 11 second-tier sides sending a letter to the EFL to demand a full investigation into a member of Leeds’ staff being questioned by police after being spotted at Derby’s training ground just 24 hours before the Rams’ loss to Leeds on January 11.
Head coach Marcelo Bielsa subsequently admitted that he had sent an intern to watch all of Leeds’ Championship rivals train in 2018-19, with rival clubs seeking a ‘full disclosure’ about the strategy of the Argentine and the incident at Derby.