Rotherham United: Wood sets play-off target as Millers fans fly the flag
Proud skipper Richard Wood is calling on Rotherham United to win their final three League One matches of the season so they kick off their impending play-off campaign as the team to fear.
The fourth-placed Millers are virtually certain to finish in the top six and could mathemetically guarantee their berth in the end-of-season battle for a Championship spot when they entertain Bristol Rovers on Saturday.
Wood, who took the captain’s armband when Lee Frecklington left in January, has targeted maximum points against Rovers, away to Plymouth Argyle and then at home to Blackpool.
“If we can win the last three games, we’ll go into the play-offs with nobody wanting to play us before a ball has been kicked,” the centre-half said.
“I’ve loved every minute of this season and being captain means a great deal to me.
“We can go up. All day long, we can. We can beat any team on our day and we’ve shown that for most of the season.”
Rotherham have won two and drawn one of their last three fixtures and the form of targetman Michael Smith, who has been a revelation since his January switch from Bury, has been a key factor in their success.
The 6ft 3in striker’s contribution is even more impressive given that he receives little protection from officials.
“The refs can give only what they see,” manager Paul Warne said. “I do moan now and again. I do think he takes a battering. The sad thing for Smudge is that he’s too honest. Smudge can get karate-kicked in the back and he will not go down.
“I’m not encouraging him to dive - anything but; I like my players to be really honest - but then you do ask for the officials to help him out.
“He shouldn’t have to go down to get a free-kick if he’s getting his shirt ripped off his back. “
Meanwhile, fans are raising money for a huge communal Millers flag they hope to have made before the play-offs start.
Supporters Peter Rhodes, John Nixon and Jenson Lambley are behind the plan and are well on their way to reaching the £1,100 they need.
The flag would measure 12 metres by 12 metres.
“Hopefully we’ll have it for the play-offs and can take it to Wembley too if we make it,” Rhodes said. “We have had some great support and feedback already.”
A gofundme campaign has been set up to handle donations: https://www.gofundme.com/12x12-metres-giant-flag