Rotherham United’s interim manager Paul Warne is backing Danny Ward to deliver goals now speculation over a January transfer exit has ended.
The 25-year-old striker was touted for a big-money move last month after netting 10 goals this season for the Championship strugglers.
But no clubs would match the Millers’ valuation, and Warne is relieved to still have the services of his top scorer.
Now Warne is hoping Ward can find his goalscoring touch again, starting with today’s trip to Bristol City, after netting just twice in his last 14 outings.
“I’ve never doubted Danny Ward ever (although) he hasn’t scored for a few games,” said Warne. “I am not criticising his work rate. “Is he 100 per cent as sharp as he was? Possibly not and I can understand that, but now the transfer window has gone I am hoping he starts banging the goals in. There are four strikers now and I love Wardy like a son, so if he isn’t performing I can throw in other people.”
Ward’s contract is up in the summer, but Rotherham will take up the option to extend it by 12 months. This ensures if the striker does leave at the end of the season, Rotherham will be entitled to a fee.
Warne said: “There is no rush, we will activate it before the end of the season for sure, that won’t be a problem.
“I have spoken to him about that, he knows the situation. If he bags another 10 goals before the summer then he might potentially get better bids in the summer.
“He is a brilliant lad, I can’t have anyone criticising him. He is a top lad.”
Goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell makes a swift return to Bristol City after joining the Millers last month. “I’ve got a lot of close friends still at Bristol City, so it will be nice to go back there and play,” he said.