Boss Paul Warne has put forward 13 reasons why striker Jonson Clarke-Harris is missing out on first-team action with Rotherham United.
The centre-forward has been a frustrated figure on the bench for much of the season as the Millers have moved into the League One play-off places.
Warne says the form of Kieffer Moore, who is the most prolific marksman in the Football League, has made it impossible to pick Clarke-Harris in his starting line-up.
“Jonno is in the biggest shadow in the history of football,” the manager said. “I don’t know who Gary Lineker’s understudy was, but I bet he wasn’t best chuffed either.”
Moore bagged his 13th goal of the campaign in last weekend’s 1-1 derby draw at Doncaster and operates as a lone frontman in Rotherham’s favoured 4-1-4-1 formation.
“Jonno hasn’t had many minutes but I haven’t seen enough of him to warrant giving him more,” said Warne whose side are at home to leaders Shrewsbury Town on Saturday.
“He is Kieffer’s replacement, so he is difficult to get on the pitch.
“When we have done well, Kieffer is scoring, so why would I take him off? And when we are struggling, why would I take off the leading goalscorer in England?”
Clarke-Harris scored his first goal of the season when he started the 3-0 Checkatrade Trophy win at Bradford City last week and impressed as a substitute against Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium where he came off the bench and shot against the woodwork as Rotherham chased an equaliser.
Warne talked to the 23-year-old before the Doncaster clash about earning more time on the pitch.
“Jonno has had limited opportunities but has trained better recently and he did play really well at Bradford,” the boss said.
“I spoke to him and told him to keep going and that he will get minutes on the pitch.
“He is a handful and he was unlucky at Doncaster with the one that hit the post. He played a part and he should be pleased.”