He was unplayable at times – Paul Warne hails ‘colossal’ Michael Smith after win



Posted Sunday, October 17, 2021 by PA

He was unplayable at times – Paul Warne hails ‘colossal’ Michael Smith after win

Rotherham manager Paul Warne heaped praise on “colossal” Michael Smith following his side’s 4-1 romp over Portsmouth.

Ex-Pompey striker Smith netted twice to move onto 10 goals for the season as Rotherham struck three times in seven second-half minutes to blow their opponents away.

Warne said the in-form 29-year-old has been “unplayable” at times in the game.

“Obviously strikers are judged by their goalscoring. I don’t just judge them on that. He has been colossal and he leads the line really well. He works hard in the gym and on the training ground and he is getting his just rewards,” the Millers manager said.

“He was excellent, as he has been in many games, and he was unplayable at times. He is the one who takes the headlines because of his goals but I thought the midfield three were really good and Mikel (Miller) had an amazing performance out left.”

Smith headed in a 29th-minute opener after being picked out perfectly at the back post by Wes Harding’s curling cross.

Marcus Harness levelled early in the second half with a curling effort into the bottom corner from the edge of the box, but that only stung Rotherham into action.

They were back in front six minutes later when Pompey goalkeeper Gavin Bazuna fumbled a shot from Ollie Rathbone and Smith managing to net at the second attempt with a backheel.

Skipper Richard Wood powered in the third from Dan Barlaser’s free-kick soon after before Ben Wiles rounded off the scoring blitz with an emphatic finish after being picked out by Miller.

Warne, whose team are fifth in the League One table, added: “I am really pleased, Portsmouth are a good team and you can see they’re really well coached.

“To score four goals at home against a team like that is pleasing.

“After us giving the ball away needlessly and them scoring, it’s a really good reaction from the lads. To then go on and perform the way they did is really impressive.

“Momentum is always good. The more games you win the better but it’s where you are at the end of the season.”

Portsmouth head coach Danny Cowley hailed Smith as the best striker in the league but was critical of his team.

He said: “Credit to Rotherham because they showed us what a good team in League One looks like. They have pace, power and athleticism and probably the best number nine (Smith) in the league.

“We came out the second half as the better team, score and we thought we really had the rhythm and we could push on and then we conceded a really bad goal.

“You can’t conceded three goals in seven minutes. We have to look at it and learn from it and try and get better. If we want to be a good team you have to be resilient and determined.”

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