Rotherham United: There’s more to Michael Smith than goals, says Paul Warne 

Rotherham United's Michael Smith grapples with Bristol City's Adam Webster
Rotherham United's Michael Smith grapples with Bristol City's Adam Webster

Rotherham manager Paul Warne insists striker Michael Smith is worth more to his team than scoring goals.

The 26-year-old has found hitting the net difficult in the Championship, having done so just once in 11 games this season, and he missed a couple of good chances in Wednesday's 0-0 draw with Bristol City.

Playing up front on his own does is not exactly conducive to banging them in, though, and Smith's contribution can be measured in other ways.

His work ethic is relentless, he brings others into the game and his commitment cannot be questioned, having played through the pain barrier in the last two games.

And Warne knows if Smith was prolific he probably would not be with the Millers.

“In fairness to him, the responsibility with one up front in this team, we need goals off everyone,” Warne told the Star.

“I am not berating him. His work ethic and the fact everything goes through him, he is worth more than his goals.

“Everybody has to chip in. He might have had one the other night, as might have Willo (Ryan Williams) and Matty Palmer – they all have a responsibility to chip in.

“If he was chipping in goals at a regular rate we would do very well to hang on to him.

“In the last two games the opposition staff have had the utmost praise for him above all of my players.

“I know he gives the opposition a real game and if he can get goals on top of it it would be the cherry on top of a very large cake.”

Smith will again be asked to play through his groin injury when the Millers visit Birmingham where they will hope to end a run of 30 away games in this division without a win.

On paper it might be one Warne's men will be targeting to break their duck, but the boss reckons Blues are in a false position in the league.

“I don't think they are too dissimilar to us, they could have more points,” he said.

“They have drawn a lot of game at home. I saw them batter West Brom, they are a really good team. 

“They will be looking to go into the international break on the back of a win, so it will be a tough game.

“I don't think Birmingham's position in the league is fitting, they should be higher.”