Rotherham United’s Paul Warne hoping Michael Smith stays while Doncaster Rovers coach Richie Wellens plans for new faces

Paul Warne is hoping for a quiet last 48 hours of 2021 transfer activity. Richie Wellens is dreading one.

HIGHLY-REGARDED: Michael Smith celebrates scoring Rotherham United's second goal against Doncaster Rovers at the New York Stadium Picture Bruce Rollinson

The way Warne’s Rotherham United dismantled Wellens’s Doncaster Rovers showed one team needs much more work than the other and highlighted two-goal Michael Smith’s value to the Millers. The fear is a rival thinks he can be worth as much to them.

Wellens hopes departures allow him to sign the winger and centre-forward his injury-ravaged squad needs after no wins and one goal in their first six matches.

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“Smudge’s goals aren’t where he stops,” said Warne when asked about Smith. “He works hard for the team.

Paul Warne and Viktor Johansson celebrate at full-time after Rotherham United's 2-0 victory over Doncaster Rovers at the New York Stadium Picture: Bruce Rollinson

“I know there were a lot of scouts watching Donny’s players and some of ours. However, they’re still our contracted players. It would need a pretty phenomenal offer to turn the chairman’s head.

“It’s pretty bad recruitment if a club leave it to the last weekend of the window and they’re still not sure. My only fear is if people came to watch him as the last tick of the box then that box was ticked.

“I haven’t had a call from one manager who wants to sign him. But if they did come, they’re not going to leave thinking: ‘He’s not for us.’”

Wellens said the fitness of two or three of Rovers players on Saturday was “touch and go” and he desperately needs more - Tom Anderson, Jon Taylor and Jordy Hiwula (the closest) out of the treatment room plus reinforcements.

NEW FACES: Doncaster Rovers' boss Richie Wellens, pictured on the touchline during Saturday's 2-0 defeat to Rotherham United at the New York Stadium Picture: Bruce Rollinson

“We’ve got two players lined up,” he revealed. “We have the potential to bring two in if we can manoeuvre things around.

“You’ll see the best of our midfielders when we’ve got wingers who know how to play on the wing and a striker who knows how to play striker.”

Not that Warne wants a completely uneventful deadline day tomorrow with a fourth striker on his shopping list.

“I’m expecting a late day,” he said. “We’re trying. I’m not certain we’ll get someone in.”