Caolan Lavery is hoping to be Rotherham United’s lucky charm and clinch back-to-back promotions.
The Canadian striker was part of the Sheffield United team who romped to the League One title last season.
Now, having joined the resurgent Millers last month on loan, the 25-year-old is looking to help follow in United’s footsteps and reach the Championship.
The Millers are one of the form teams in League One, unbeaten since their 2-1 defeat at Bristol Rovers on December 2.
Since then they have won seven and drawn three to climb into play-off contention.
When 13-goal top scorer Kieffer Moore was recalled from his loan spell by Ipswich Town – and subsequently sold to Barnsley – there were fears Rotherham’s top-six hopes could fade.
But manager Paul Warne has recruited well, bringing in strikers Michael Smith and Lavery to bolster his attacking options. Smith, 26, has hit the ground running, netting in Rotherham’s last two games, but Lavery is slowly building up his match fitness after spending much of the season on the sidelines at Bramall Lane.
“I have some work to do. Playing matches is a lot different to training every day, but I have to make sure that I increase my sharpness, and then some more minutes can come from that,” said Lavery, who was a second-half substitute in last weekend’s 2-0 win over AFC Wimbledon.
“It has been a really good week of training. It has been good to get to know the lads that I didn’t know, and get myself involved in the group.
“Training is intense, but that was no surprise to me, that’s why I joined. I spoke to the manager and the lads before I came so I knew what to expect, and I have enjoyed it. It is nice to have training at a high tempo, and whilst it is a cliche, it is true – you play the way you train.”
It is fourth versus fifth today, when Rotherham travel to Scunthorpe United.
The Millers will take more than 2,000 fans to Glanford Park, including Warne’s family who will be housed in the away end.
“My wife and kids are behind the goal,” said Warne. “I hope there’s not too much swearing.
“We could have sold more tickets if we’d had them. It will give the lads a massive boost.
“When you come out and you’ve got 2,100 fans behind you, it does give you a lift.”