Rotherham United midfielder Sam Clucas believes an extended run in the team has been crucial in helping him find his best form.
The 33-year-old was snapped up by the Millers in the summer following the expiration of his contract with fellow second tier outfit Stoke City and was beginning to find his feet in the side before suffering an injury setback, which kept him out of action for over a month.
Clucas returned to action when the Millers visited Leicester City on 23rd December and has started in the last five outings in all competitions for Leam Richardson’s side.
The former Premier League operator has impressed with his performances in the middle of the park and saw himself nominated for the December Goal of the Month gong for his stunning volley in the 1-1 draw against Sunderland and is hoping to continue his rich vein of form when the team return to action.
“It has been really good to get back to playing week in, week out as I have recently and hopefully I can stay injury free and maintain my spot,” Clucas told www.themillers.co.uk after being asked about his extended run in the side.
“I’d obviously been doing work in the off season after my contract finished at Stoke, but it’s nothing like coming into a proper club and doing short and sharp movements.
“The staff knew that and they really helped me ease myself in, unfortunately I picked up an injury just as I’d started to feel like I was getting my sharpness back, which was really frustrating.
“I’ve worked hard and got back to fitness, now I want to stay clear of injury and continue the form I’ve been showing recently.
“As a player, I think I’m someone that needs to be playing regularly to find my best form. I’m a box to box midfielder that wants to work really hard for the team and chip in with goals and assists, again I’m at my best when I’m getting regular time on the pitch, so I'm grateful that the gaffer has put faith in me.”
The Millers were due to travel to take on Ipswich Town this weekend, but their opponents involvement in the Emirates FA Cup means that they will host Maidstone United at Portman Road instead.
This means Richardson’s side are next in action when they lock horns with promotion-chasing Southampton in the second tier on Saturday 3rd February.
The Saints are currently on a club record unbeaten run of 21 games, but Clucas insists that in the second tier, anyone can beat anyone.
“This is one of the few top leagues across Europe where everyone does beat everyone and we’re no different to that, we know that we can beat the very best this league has to offer on our day."
“We know that Southampton are a really good team and we respect them for what they are, but we’re at home, which is a huge plus.
“Every game in this league is tough, but we still have that belief that we can go and get points.”