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READ | Jerry looking to kick on

15 March 2017

TOTTENHAM Hotspur fans sing it endearingly about Harry Kane while Barnsley fans never miss an opportunity to hail manager Paul Heckingbottom - well, there is no doubt that academy product Jerry Yates is very much one of Rotherham's own.
 
Despite his side's position in the Championship table, Yates' rise to prominence within the Millers first-team fold has been one of the highlights of their Championship campaign. The AESSEAL New York Stadium faithful have undoubtedly taken the young striker to their hearts, by his willingness to work tirelessly for the team, by running into the channels and closing down opposition defenders. 
 
Yates was quick to express his delight at being given the recent opportunity to showcase his talents in front of an adoring home faithful within the no-holds barred Championship arena. 
 
"I love playing here at the stadium and there is no better feeling than when the fans get behind you and start singing your name," Yates enthused. 
 
"Obviously, it's good to get back on the pitch and get some games for the team. My aim personally is to get a few more starts and see where it takes me, but ultimately it’s wins for the team that matter so hopefully we can get some more points on the board."
 
With first-team opportunities limited prior to this season, the youngster served notice of his talents by notching a well-taken goal against top-flight outfit Sunderland during the Millers pre-season campaign. 

Yates was rewarded for his impressive start to the season when League Two Morecambe came to town in the EFL Cup in August. Despite the Millers exiting the competition at the first hurdle, as they ended up on the wrong side of a nine-goal thriller, Yates burst onto the scene in spectacular fashion by notching a brace on his competitive debut.
 
The strikes paved the way for Yates to be part of the first-team squad under former managers Alan Stubbs and Kenny Jackett, and with the Millers short of striking options due to form and fitness, interim-manager Paul Warne had no hesitation in asking the youngster to lead the line against Norwich City in January. Yates took his chance with both hands as he crowned his league debut with a composed finish within just seven minutes, in the Millers' 2-1 victory over the Canaries. 
 
In subsequent games, Yates has never been too far away from Warne's thinking as the Rotherham boss has switched his tactics from 4-1-4-1, 4-5-1 or 4-4-2 depending on the personnel available and the opposition in question. Despite this, Warne has made no secret of his desire to employ a two-pronged attack whenever the opportunity arises, especially as they look to take the game to teams at their AESSEAL New York Stadium home. 
 
The 20-year-old revealed that he enjoys playing as part of a front two as he believes this suits his strengths and abilities, as he looks to make his way in the game.  
 
"It's great to get a start with Danny (Ward) up top," the ex-Harrogate Town loanee added. 
 
"I feel a lot more comfortable with two up front and when there is two up top, there is a lot more pressing up the field and the game is a lot more condensed, than if you are playing with one.  
 
"I think when you play two up top, the fans get right behind you and give you that extra push and give you that extra 10 percent to go and win the game.
 
"However, I understand that some other formations suit other teams and you may have to be a little more defensive, especially away from home."