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Rotherham man will believe recent weeks have sealed his place in the starting XI



This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Player View’ series, this content strand is where we put ourselves in the shoes of a given player, and offer an opinion-based outlook on the situation at hand…

Following the disappointment on suffering an immediate relegation from the Championship after just a single campaign in the second-tier last season, not only will fans of Rotherham United have been hoping for a strong response from their side following their return to League One, but their players too will have been desperate to prove their value to the club after failing to secure survival last season.

One man in particular who will have been confident of doing that, will have been striker Michael Smith.

Having scored eight goals in 45 league appearances for Rotherham last season, in what was his first season at Championship level, Smith will have been confident that that encouraging showing had given him the foundation on which to build upon his return to League One this season.

But despite that room for optimism, the start to the season did not exactly go as you imagine Smith himself will have pictured it in the build-up to the big kick-off at the start of August.

Despite starting  his side’s first four league games of the season, Smith was unable to break his scoring duck early in the campaign, despite a decent all-round start to the season that saw the Millers pick up a respectable seven points from those opening four games.

Indeed, Smith may have felt as though his chance to be a regular feature from the start for Rotherham had gone for this season, as he was forced to operate from the bench for the next five games of the season.

But with Rotherham taking just a single win in that time, Smith was once again handed his chance from the start by Paul Warne at the start of October, and this time, the striker will have been left in no doubt that he has taken it emphatically.

Having returned to the side for the visit of the previously unbeaten Coventry to The New York Stadium, Smith proceeded to put in a performance that he will be certain put him right back in the forefront of Warne’s mind, setting up Matt Crooks to open the scoring for the Millers before twice holding his nerve to score from the penalty spot – having won one of them himself – as Rotherham ran riot with a 4-0 win.

Following such a performance, Smith will have been brimming with confidence ahead of last week’s trip to Bloomfield Road, and that will have only been boosted further as he showed his predatory instincts to fire Rotherham in front, as they made it two wins in two with a 2-1 win to climb further up the third-tier standings.

Considering that also made it three goals in two starts for Smith himself, he ought to be confident that, despite failing to do so earlier in the season, he has now firmly secured a spot in the starting XI for the time being, as the Millers look to maintain that winning formula they appear to have found.

With Rotherham now putting themselves back in contention for the play-off places, it does seem as though the club’s fans could yet be in for an enjoyable campaign following the frustrations of last season’s relegation.

Given the role he has played in that recent upturn in for- from both an individual and team perspective – you feel that Smith too, will be more than looking forward to the rest of the campaign.

Can Rotherham United achieve promotion this season?





UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, been writing for Football League World since March 2019. I've previously worked for the likes of Blackburn Rovers and Opta, among others.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Rotherham man will believe recent weeks have sealed his place in the starting XI

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