Millwall manager Gary Rowett has suggested that heading into the final years of their current deals with the Lions could be a motivation for both Matt Smith and Tom Bradshaw to impress.
Smith signed a new one-year deal with Millwall during the summer to commit his future to the Lions for this season at the very least. The forward has managed to make 11 appearances for Rowett’s side in the Championship so far this term, but only five of those have come from the start.
The 32-year-old has managed to score one league goal for the Lions and that came in their 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest at the end of September. While he also managed to score one goal in Millwall’s League Cup win against Cambridge United as well in August.
The one-year option on Bradshaw’s deal was activated by the Lions in the summer ,which means that he has remained a firm part of Rowett’s squad in the Championship this season.
The 29-year-old has made four Championship appearances so far this term and had a goal controversially ruled out against Coventry City last month.
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Speaking to the News at Den, Rowett suggested that the fact they are entering the last year of their current deals could be a motivating factor for both Smith and Bradshaw. While he also praised the two forwards for their characters and will to perform in the final third.
He said: “I don’t know, you’d have to ask those players. What motivates individuals is very different sometimes.
“But I know both of them are good characters and they both love scoring goals and playing games.
“They’ve both played a lot of games through their careers and the motivation I’m sure will be to play on and score as many goals as they can.
“Most strikers are the same, when they hit the back of the net there is no greater elation for a forward player.
“I would imagine that’s their motivation but you’d have to ask those individuals, really, to get a fair answer.”
It is a difficult one for any player heading into the last few months of their current deals and for Smith and Bradshaw they will be aiming to potentially try and convince the Lions that they are worthy of having their deals extended once again.
Smith has been a key player for Millwall this season so far, the target man offers a vital option for Rowett and the Lions to go more direct in search of a goal or to just hold the ball up in the closing stages should that be what is required in a given match.
Therefore, Smith is the sort of player that it would always be potentially worth offering a contract extension to.
The only issue will be whether the forward is going to want to sit on the bench at times which is what he has been doing this season.
Bradshaw has been a good player for Millwall, but the forward has not been able to make too much of an impact this season so far.
He will have to do a little more in the coming weeks and months to show that he is worthy of a potential new deal with the club.