Kenny Jackett is left to rue Rotherham United’s decision to loan out Richie Smallwood

Rotherham United
Rotherham United
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NEW Rotherham United chief Kenny Jackett wishes the club had not sent midfield enforcer Richie Smallwood on loan.

The 25-year-old saw his partnership with Lee Frecklington broken up by former manager Alan Stubbs in August and has since helped Scunthorpe United to the top of League One during his season-long deal.

Without his experience in front of the defence, the Millers have slipped to the bottom of the Championship – looking over their shoulders at The Iron.

Smallwood featured 45 times last season for the Millers, who have conceded more goals than any other Football League side, and has made over 100 appearances since arriving from Middlesbrough in 2014.

“Richie is an experienced midfielder,” said former Wolverhampton chief Jackett. “Coming here as an opposing manager many times, Frecklington and Smallwood always give you a game.

“We will have to see (if he can be recalled in January). We will explore all avenues and try to add competition, experience and enthusiasm.

“We will look to do everything we possibly can to improve the team and results. It’s planning for each window and how you come out of it is even more important because you haven’t got the flexibility each way.”

Richie Smallwood: player profile

Jackett was in charge at Rotherham on Saturday, a cruel 1-0 defeat to Reading, just 24 hours after taking over from Stubbs.

Immediately, Jackett drafted in players with experience who had been sitting on the sidelines, the likes of Richard Wood, Joe Mattock and Dexter Blackstock.

Jackett has already moved to strengthen his forward line by signing free agent Peter Odemwingie this week, and he will want to bring a Smallwood-type player into his midfield, while bolstering his defence, too.

“In terms of recruitment we will have to be clear where are market is, be clever,” he said. “Will we be going toe-to-toe in the transfer market with a lot of the clubs in this division? No. But there is a market for us.

“To be successful in the Championship, we have to be experienced, knowledgeable and decisive. There is a talent pool that we can identify and go for that can bring success at this level.”

Jackett started with Blackstock and Danny Ward paired together but Odemwingie’s arrival means the former West Brom and Stoke City striker gives him options up front.

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