Rotherham boss Paul Warne says he will be star-struck when he meets Everton counterpart Carlo Ancelotti on Saturday, but will stop short of asking for an autograph.
Warne takes his Championship strugglers to Goodison Park to take on the Premier League side in the FA Cup third round on Saturday, where he will come up against a man he describes as his managerial idol.
Ancelotti’s cool and calm manner has struck a note with Warne, who also admits he might be envious of the Italian’s style.
“I have got a lot of time for their manager. For me, personally, he rates as the greatest,” he said.
“Only because I have read his book, I always liked him, and read his book and it is an excellent football book.
“It is about how to lead and manage people. Out of all the managers out there he is more my idol than anyone else.
“By reading his book he leads in a similar way to me, I am not a shouter and screamer. For what he has achieved, I think the way he has done it is inspiring and I look at him as my idol more than anyone else.
“I am not saying I am taking my book in my back pocket and asking him to sign it but I will definitely tell him I read and enjoyed it and then he can read my six pages when I write one in a few years.
“We will all be a bit star-struck. People always say never meet your idols, I don’t see it like that.
“It will be great to see him in person, I will probably look at him and think ‘his shoes look more expensive than mine, they look very good Italian shoes’. I will look forward to meeting him.”
Warne has confirmed that all of his players have tested negative for Covid-19, having had an outbreak at the club before Christmas, meaning long-term injury victims Clark Robertson (foot), Shaun MacDonald (broken leg), Joe Mattock and Kieran Sadlier (both ankle) and Chiedozie Ogbene are the only ones missing out.
Loanees Jamal Blackman, Florian Jozefzoon and George Hirst have been given permission to play.