Paul Warne keen to keep two-goal Michael Smith at Rotherham



Posted Saturday, August 28, 2021 by PA

Paul Warne keen to keep two-goal Michael Smith at Rotherham

Rotherham manager Paul Warne wants to fend off interest in Michael Smith as he hit both goals in their 2-0 win over Doncaster.

Smith’s first-half double was more than enough to earn the points for Rotherham who saw out the bulk of the second half with 10 men after Mikel Miller’s lunge on Kyle Knoyle.

Miller created the opener after latching on a loose ball and finding Smith who prodded beyond Pontus Dahlberg.

Smith got his second in first half added on time after latching onto a half clearance on the edge of the box and volleying coolly into the bottom corner.

Miller was sent off early in the second period to hand Rovers a route back into the game.

Though it saw them claim more possession they failed to create any big chances with their goalless run now stretching to six games.

Warne said Smith is likely on many a wishlist before the end of the transfer window but he is naturally keen to keep him at the New York Stadium.

He said: “I haven’t taken a phone call about him, however, I do know a lot of people admire him and so they should, he has been excellent for us.

“I don’t foresee anyone paying the fee the chairman wants but what do I know? I didn’t see Ronaldo going to Manchester United but it still happened.

“Hopefully this group will all stay and play a big part.

“Overall I thought everyone put a good shift in. Smith will get the headlines but it was definitely one of those team days.

“I thought our play in the first half was really good. We needed the two goals because going down to 10 men against Donny, it caused us problems.

“It was a good team performance to hang in there and not concede. I don’t think they had an attempt on goal in the second half but had loads of the ball. That is testament to the lads and their togetherness.”

Rovers manager Richie Wellens said: “The last half an hour flabbergasted me.

“We carried on trying to play through the middle and there was too much tippy-tappy rubbish, to be honest.

“I thought in the first half we played through them really easily.

“The biggest frustration of all was we know their threats. We worked on them. We wanted to put a front screen on Smith but we didn’t. We didn’t compete physically against them.

“I think they showed where they’re at and we showed where we’re at.

“We didn’t put the ball in the box enough and when we did the quality wasn’t good enough.

“We need to stick together. The break has come at a welcome time.”

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