Rotherham United: Richie out to reward Evans’ faith

Richie Smallwood
Richie Smallwood
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Actions speak louder than words for Rotherham United midfielder Richie Smallwood.

Smallwood starred for the Millers while on loan during last season’s League One promotion campaign.

Manager Steve Evans swooped to land him on a permanent deal in August, and now the 23-year-old wants to let his football do the talking.

“I’m loving every minute of it,” said the former Middlesbrough man.

“I’m grateful to the manager for bringing me here and I just want to repay him on the pitch by doing the best I can.”

Smallwood rejoined the club on the day of the Watford match at New York Stadium, was pitched straight into action and has played in every league match since.

“It’s been a confidence boost to be in the side as soon as I came back,” he revealed,

“When you’re involved confidence grows immediately.

“It’s good at Championship level. There are fine margins as to whether you win or lose games.

“No disrespect to League One, but the Championship is a better league with better quality.

“There are players who are good enough for the Premier League and that’s what you’re up against.

“I think we’ve done well in recent games. We just need to try to get over the finish line and claim the three points.”

The Millers destroyed Charlton Athletic in the second half of their 1-1 draw last Saturday and Smallwood is tipping them for better things in the second tier.

“There’s a better squad now than there was last year and I think we’ve been unlucky with a few results,” he said. “If we keep playing as we are, I think we’ll get some positive results in the coming games.

We’re doing our best every day. We’re working hard and we’re playing some good football.”

A strong Rotherham reserve side beat Hartlepool at their Parkgate training base yesterday with goals from Jon Swift 2, Jonson Clarke-Harris and Luciano Becchio.