Rotherham United boss Paul Warne backs Matt Crooks to find consistency
Paul Warne believes Rotherham could be about to see the best of Matt Crooks.
Crooks struck a late winner in the 2-1 success over Preston at the weekend and it marked his first goal of the campaign.
It has been a stop-start campaign for Crooks, who has taken his time to get going after a difficult few months off the pitch.
He had to deal with the death of his close friend Jordan Sinnott in January and then saw himself become the subject of transfer speculation in the summer.
The 26-year-old was in and out of Warne's side in the opening few weeks of the season as he struggled for consistency, but the boss does not know whether off-field distractions caused it.
Asked whether speculation linking him to other Championship clubs was the reason why Crooks started slowly, Warne said: “Could be, it is not an exact science. I don't know how many of my players are absolutely 100 per cent but I think Crooksy sticks out because he was so influential over the last couple of years.
“If (Mohamed) Salah doesn't play well for Liverpool everyone notices. With Crooksy, he is getting more like the player we want him to be.
“Has the transfer rumour and anything else that has gone on in his life affected him? Maybe. But that is just an excuse. It might not have.
“Every player has dips and troughs in his form and they play their way out of it. Crooksy is doing a lot to get out the other side of it.”
While Crooks and his Millers team-mates get some rest during the international break, head of medicine Stephen Gilpin and performance manager Ross Burbeary are running 10k every day during November.
The duo are undertaking the feat to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK and hope to raise over £15,000.
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