Boss Paul Warne has hinted a new deal could be on offer to the midfield man he describes as “a typical Rotherham United player”.
Richie Smallwood is out of contract at the end of the season and Warne has been impressed by the 26-year-old who has already stated his desire to stay at New York Stadium.
“To get a new deal, you have to be consistent,” said the Millers manager who is hoping to keep striker Carlton Morris on a long-term loan.
“Rich has been consistent in training. He prepares well. He’s been performing well and I’m pleased with how he’s been playing. He’s a good professional.”
Hard-working Smallwood, a key man in the club’s 2014 promotion from League One and the 2014/15 Player of the Year, was loaned out to Scunthorpe United by previous boss Alan Stubbs but has been a virtual ever-present since being recalled in January.
Smallwood will have another chance to press his claim tomorrow when relegated Rotherham, with their three-year spell in the Championship drawing towards a close, are at home to Ipswich Town.
Warne added: “He has done well. He’s had a good season. He’s a typical Rotherham United player. He gives his job-lot. He’s got another three games to cement his career with us next season.”
The Rotherham boss, looking for a promotion push next term, wants Morris to remain in South Yorkshire but admits the Millers future of the 21-year-old loan centre-forward is up in the air.
His attempt to broker a season-long deal for next year is being held up because the striker’s parent club, Norwich City, are without a permanent manager after the sacking of Alex Neil.
“I think Carlton has settled in pretty well,” Warne said. “He gets on with us and he gets on with the group, which is pretty important. He wants to play senior football every week as opposed to the under-23s.
“The difficulty with him at the moment is that Norwich haven’t got a manager, so no-one will make a decision about him, going forward, until there is a new boss in place.”
Morris has yet to open his Rotherham account after six appearance but has the kind of pace and strength Rotherham are looking to add to their squad before they begin life in the third tier.
“I think he has a lot more to give,” Warne said. “I think if he stayed with us for another year that would be the best thing for his career because we’d make him better than he is now.
“He’s improving. If he had a pre-season with us, I’d expect him to run in behind a little bit more, His hold-up play is impressive. It always has been.
“I would like to keep him. But he’s not our player. It’s in Norwich’s hands. If I was him, I’d be thinking, if I could, I’d like to stay in the Championship but that, if I couldn’t, I’d like to stay here.
“I’ve got to have a conversation with him, his agent and his club. Fundamentally, his club will decide.”