Paul Warne believes giant striker Michael Smith is the perfect fit for Rotherham United.
When top scorer Kieffer Moore was recalled from his loan spell by Ipswich Town last month –and subsequently sold to Barnsley – there were real fears it could derail the Millers’ promotion charge.
But Smith has more than filled Moore’s boots since arriving from Bury in January.
The 26-year-old former Barnsley loanee has netted three goals in his last four outings, already surpassing his total for the season at Gigg Lane.
“I think certain players suit certain clubs and certain times,” said Millers chief Warne. “He definitely suits us. He’s a really hard-working striker, although we’re constantly shouting at him to work even harder. I think he’s enjoying it here.
“We’re always giving him feedback on his performances. We’re always encouraging him and trying to get the best out of him.”
Smith’s goals have helped the Millers extend their unbeaten run to 12 games – they have won their last five – and they hope to cut the gap on League One leaders Shrewsbury Town today.
Fourth-placed Rotherham know victory against the Shrews – managed by former Millers favourite Paul Hurst – will reduce the deficit to just five points with 13 games remaining.
With Smith’s obvious height advantage, standing 6ft 4in, Rotherham have been keen to utilise his strength in the air.
Warne explained: “There is no point being 6ft 4in tall and playing in a team that never crosses the ball.
“Strikers score only if you get the ball in the box. We definitely get loads of balls into the box.”
Last six games: Shrewsbury Town DWWWLW Rotherham United DWWWWW.
Referee: C Boyeson (East Yorkshire).
Last time: Shrewsbury Town 0 Rotherham United 3, January 18 2014, League One.