Richie Smallwood talks to www.themillers.co.uk...
Returning Rotherham United midfielder Richie Smallwood says he is relishing the challenge of escaping Sky Bet Championship relegation for a third consecutive season, under the guidance of caretaker boss Paul Warne.
The popular anchor man has enjoyed a stint with high-flying Scunthorpe United in League One but had his season-long stay at Glanford Park cut short, as the Millers exercised their recall clause on Monday.
The 26-year-old insists he believes that the Millers can steer themselves away from the foot of the second tier table, as they have done in the previous two years and is confident that there is sufficient quality within the squad to do so.
“It's a big challenge but one that we've overcome before and hopefully if we put a few results together in the next couple of weeks we can try and get another great escape, which would make it a hat-trick of them,” Smallwood told www.themillers.co.uk.
“That's what we're looking to do and we've got some good players here at Rotherham, with the likes of Danny Ward, who's scoring a lot of goals in a team that's at the wrong end of the table, so we have got quality.
“It will be about all of us pulling together and trying to do our best.”
Smallwood’s first team opportunities whilst with the Iron were restricted to just 20 appearances, with the form of his teammates and the club’s lofty league position making it difficult to break into the side and the Redcar-born operator is looking forward to establishing himself in the side at AESSEAL New York Stadium.
“It's obviously nice to be back and with the opportunity to try and play some games and that's what I'll be looking to do,” Richie added.
“I was pleased to get the call and I haven't played as much as I'd have liked at Scunthorpe but that's down to the performances of the lads who are playing there at the minute.
“I've never played under Warney but I know what type of guy he is and the things I have heard from the other lads makes it sound like it's good to play under him. That's what I'll be looking to do and hopefully we can get some positive results in the near future.”
The former Middlesbrough man finished by explaining that he was overwhelmed by the well-wishes of the Rotherham United faithful on social media in recent weeks but says it is now up to him to prove his worth to Warne.
“I've seen a few things and it's nice to hear but at the end of the day it's the manager's decision and if he didn't think he was right to bring me back, then it wouldn't have happened,” Smallwood explained.
“It's positive for me that he wants me here and I'm glad he's done it and hopefully I can help him out as much as I can."