Michael Smith talks to www.themillers.co.uk...
Like many of his Rotherham United comrades, forward Michael Smith is content with the progress that he and his teammates are making in the Sky Bet Championship but insists the group is capable of achieving more.
The newly-promoted Millers sit two points above the relegation places in the second tier after 20 outings and recently enjoyed an impressive seven-match unbeaten streak. However, whilst retaining a place in the Championship will be priority number one for Paul Warne’s side, Smith is adamant that the dressing room has bigger goals for the 2018/19 campaign.
“We're ambitious lads and we think we should be a lot higher than what we are. However, as long as we're above the bottom three that can be taken as a positive,” he told www.themillers.co.uk.
“We had the unbeaten run and unfortunately that came to an end but I think with going to the top of the league with the way that they play, it was always going to be a tough place to go.
“I think we're in good stead going into a busy Christmas period and I think if we can accumulate a few points before the New Year we'll be looking good.”
The 27-year-old also took time to reflect on his own personal season with the club, which has seen him remain a figurehead in the Millers attack. His tireless running and unselfish hold-up play has seen him become an integral part of Warne’s side but the Wallsend-born forward admits that he is keen to see his name on the scoresheet more frequently.
“As a striker you're always going to get judged on goals and it's just good at this club that the manager sees and appreciates everything else you do,” Smith continued.
“From the outside looking in, you're going to get judged solely on goals. I think if I can add a few more goals to my game then it will all be positive.
“I've got Procs and others pushing me every week and he wants to start games, so it's my job to try and keep the shirt. It's a blessing that we get on really well on and off the pitch.”
Saturday’s fixture conjures up another South Yorkshire derby, this time seeing the Millers make the short trip over to Hillsborough to face Sheffield Wednesday and Smith is relishing the opportunity of being involved in another big game.
“I've never played there but I've been there as a fan when I went to watch Newcastle. It's a big stadium and it'll be a good atmosphere and I've read all about how Sheffield Wednesday is the derby for Rotherham fans, so it'll be another big game to play in and I'm looking forward to it,” he explained.
“We were talking about the Championship and the opportunities to go to places like Carrow Road and all these unbelievable grounds, so we're definitely enjoying being in this division and we have to keep taking it in our stride.”