Former Sheffield Wednesday starlet George Hirst backed to have 'amazing career' despite Rotherham United season flop
Paul Warne believes George Hirst will go on to have an “amazing career” despite his loan flop at Rotherham.
Warne finally got his hands on the former Sheffield Wednesday man on a season-long stay from Leicester after previously courting him over several transfer windows.
The Millers beat several clubs to his signature and optimism was high that the son of former Owls legend David Hirst could help fire another South Yorkshire club to survival.
However, it did not work out as Hirst Jnr failed to score in 32 appearances and returned to the King Power Stadium ahead of the final two games of the season after suffering a hamstring injury.
While he may have been frustrated at his lack of game time – he only started four of his 32 appearances – Hirst's attitude was never questioned.
“I'd like to say on the record that George's attitude always stayed spot on,” Warne added.
“He was a really grounded kid. He doesn't deserve any criticism and I think he will go on and have an amazing career.
“We were never in a position where we had plenty of points in the bank and I could take Smudge (Michael Smith) out of the team because Smudge was fundamental to our success.
“I feel sorry for George a little bit in that I didn't give him as much game-time as I possibly could have. But then players earn their game-time.
“I have no doubt he will go on and be an amazing centre-forward. Unfortunately, this year didn't work out for him as well as we had all hoped it would.”
Warne said he was unable to give Hirst as much game time because he did not see enough in the fleeting moments the striker was on the pitch.
Hirst will say he did not get enough minutes to show what he was truly capable of and he was forever behind Michael Smith and Freddie Ladapo in the pecking order.
“Fifty per cent of it is me and 50 per cent of it is George,” Warne admitted.
“I didn't pick him enough, I didn't give him enough minutes on the pitch.
“Every player asks for five or six games. You need a good run in the team.
“Unfortunately, I wasn't in a position to offer him that because I just didn't see enough, if truth be told.
“The strikers were playing well, although not scoring.
“I did give him minutes on the pitch when I could and - he might say differently - we were always really positive with him and really wanted him to do well.
“Ironically, his best performances came right at the end of the season and then he got injured for the last two games.
“He would probably have had more of a starting opportunity.”