Paul Warne talks to www.themillers.co.uk...
Paul Warne says the returning Richie Smallwood is up for the fight of reclaiming his place in the starting 11, after being recalled from his loan spell at Scunthorpe United.
The interim boss exercised the option to cut short Smallwood’s stay at Glanford Park, where he featured 19 times in all competitions for the League One side.
A key member of the side that kept the Millers in The Championship last season, Smallwood returns to the AESSEAL New York Stadium this week, much to the delight of Warne.
“I wanted him back and all the members of staff wanted him back and it was our call, so we’re delighted to see Richie return,” Warne told www.themillers.co.uk
“He’s the type of midfielder that we need at this moment in time. He’s hard-working, he’s dogged and he’s got a great attitude. He will be crucial as we continue our battle for survival.
“Richie epitomises everything that I want at this club and he has always worked really hard. He understands what I want as a manager and the standards I expect.”
Warne revealed that he met with Smallwood this afternoon, where he got the answers he was looking for before pushing through the decision to bring back the 26-year-old.
“I met up with him for a coffee and I needed to ensure that he wanted to come back and fight for his place," he added.
"I needed someone that was going to come here and fight , and the response I got from him was that he was happy to come back and was up for the challenge.
“The more good players I can have with that kind of attitude the better, so I’m delighted that he’s back.
“As I knew he would, he’s looked after himself. We’re down on numbers at the moment so he’ll come back in and provide good competition. Hopefully we’ll have Frecks back really soon as well, who is integral to what we are trying to do, so we do have some options now in that area.
“He was an integral part of us staying up last year and he’s willing to come back, roll his sleeves up and help to fight for us to stay in this division.”
Smallwood made five appearances for the Millers this season before moving to Glanford Park.