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Richie looks forward to seeing familiar faces

Back on familiar ground for the Rovers midfielder

31 December 2017

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For the second time in three days, Rovers midfielder Richie Smallwood will be facing a former team.

Smallwood and his colleagues will be heading to the New York Stadium on New Year's Day and that's a venue the ex-Middlesbrough man knows well.

The Rovers number 6 spent almost four years playing for Rotherham, achieving a promotion to the Championship during his stay at the Yorkshire club.

And Richie is looking forward to going back and seeing old friends on familiar turf.

"It's similar to when we played them last time," Richie said when asked about playing two of his former clubs in quick succession.

"We know it won't be easy, particularly at the New York Stadium. The fans are good and will be out in force with it being a New Year's Day game.

"I have great memories from my time at Rotherham. It was my club for three-and-a-half years and I gave my all for them. Now I'm at Blackburn I'll be doing all I can to get one over them."

And Richie admits he could well have been playing for Rotherham against Rovers on New Year's Day, had circumstances been different.

"They could have easily kept me but at the end of the day the manager didn't quite want me, which was a tad disappointing," he added.

"It was the first time I'd ever been in that situation but it was a great three-and-a-half years there, we had some fantastic times.

"It didn't quite move forward how everyone would have liked really. We got some good results in my three seasons there and I'm disappointed with the way it ended with relegation."

A win against the Millers could be big for Rovers, confesses Smallwood, who believes his old club will be fighting for promotion come the end of the campaign.

"Rotherham had the same aim as us at the start of the season and they could certainly pick up points and improve that away form.

"I'm sure they'll be aiming for an improved second half of the season and look to push up that table."

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