Derby County Head Coach Paul Warne is 'really looking forward' to his first game in the home dugout at Pride Park Stadium against Port Vale on Saturday afternoon (3pm kick-off).

After getting off to the perfect start with a 2-0 victory away at Cambridge United last week, Saturday will mark Warne's official unveiling in front of the home faithful.

Speaking to RamsTV prior to the clash, Warne spoke of his excitement to lead the team out in front of what will be a bumper crowd.

On building a culture…

I’m massive on culture and I think culture outweighs results and helps performances. We’re going to go through bad times. We might lose back-to-back games and then you can have fractions within the group, but I try and build it with honesty and with relationships with the players and the staff. I’m constantly reaching out to them.

I’m always trying to learn more about the players all the time like I’ve invited a player tonight to come and watch ice hockey with me in Sheffield.

I want relationships where everyone feels safe and where everyone feels comfortable for criticism. If I criticise someone in the meeting, it’s not about them - it’s the team. It’s about how we move forward. It’s easier to be critical of people when you respect them and love them. That’s how I like to build culture. I like everyone to feel comfortable, be ready for criticism, be ready for praise and to go forward as a team and fundamentally to enjoy it.

On the ‘Win Wall’…

I think every little victory in football should be celebrated. Wins are like gold dust in any league so I like to get a picture that represents the win. The Cambridge game, for example, was Collo’s celebration. It will go in a frame with a date and a score and that goes on the wall. It’s just outside the Meeting Room, so the more wins they get the more I like to think the lads get empowered by it.

I also have a Clean Sheet Wall because goalkeepers possibly don’t get the praise they deserve. However, everyone is involved in the win and everyone is involved in a clean-sheet.

On taking a mat with the Ram logo on it to away games…

Away from home I want the dressing room to feel as homely as possible. I appreciate some grounds are more intimidating than others but the more Derby County you can make the changing room feel, the more at home the lads feel.

I try and make the dressing room as 'Derby County' as I can so people can see that this is our family, this is who we are playing for and the mat on the floor is to represent that and in my opinion to represent everyone at the football club. If you walk on the badge, you disrespect everyone and it’s an instant fine. It isn’t just the 13/14 people who play their part, it’s thousands of people, it’s the whole city who are trying to be part of the team and I want the badge to make them realise how important it is to everybody.

On his first game at Pride Park…

I’m really looking forward to it. If I wasn’t, I’d tell you, if I was nervous, I’d tell you. I’m not – I’m really looking forward to it.

I know it’s not going to be the finished article. I’m not expecting 28,000 or 30,000 people to turn up and go ‘oh this is Paul Warne’s team, let’s go and have a look at it.’ We’ve trained four or five days, it’s a slow burner but it’s a healthy club that we’re trying to take in the right direction.

I remember playing here as an away player and thinking ‘what a place to play.’

I’ve come here and managed – and took a real beating once. It was more enjoyable behind closed doors in Covid-19 as an away manager (Rotheram won 1-0 in January 2021) but to be in charge of the home team in such an historic ground is really proud for me and my family. It means a lot to us all.

On what he expects from the fans…

Hopefully, I presume everyone will be really kind to me. I’d like to think it’s not for me but for me and my staff. Everyone I’ve met has been brilliant. I think everyone is excited about where the club is going. It’s been a hard couple of years for a lot of people at this club so hopefully we’re part of a really exciting journey to take the club back to where it wants to be.

On the squad’s fitness update…

We are virtually fully fit. Rooney trained today. Korey Smith trained today. Will Osula is back today too.