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Smallwood back to his old self from next week onwards

Midfielder pleased to finally pass yellow card cut off point

11 March 2018

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It's been a long old year for Rovers midfielder Richie Smallwood, who, in 2018, has almost had a cat and mouse chase between a yellow card and himself!

On nine bookings, the last of which was picked up against old club Scunthorpe United at the end of December, a two-game ban was looming for the 27-year-old.
 
At that point, Richie knew one more booking before the 37th game of the campaign would result in the combative midfielder receiving a two-match absence. He surely couldn't go 13 games without having his name taken, could he?
 
The ex-Middlesbrough man has been on his best behaviour, and has now surpassed that cut off point, despite admitting he has diced with death on occasions on that run without a card.
 
“There have been a couple of games I could have got a card," Richie confessed with a smile to iFollow Rovers after the win against Blackpool. "I don’t think it’s impacted my game too much - maybe the last couple of games slightly when I’ve been closing in on this moment.
 
“There have maybe been a couple of challenges I’ve pulled out of when before I’d have gone in there.
 
“I’m thankful it’s over now and I can continue playing the way I like to play and helping the team for the rest of the season."
 
And the Rovers number 6 joked he's had to sweet talk referees in that time to stay on the right side of the law, but is now looking forward to getting back to his old self - starting from next week at Gillingham.
 
“I’ve probably had a few juicy challenges in those 13 games when I’ve been on nine bookings, but I can get that off my back now, I suppose.
 
“I’ve been talking to referees in a nice manner for once!"
 
We've nine games to go and the next one comes at Gillingham's Priestfield Stadium next Saturday. Tickets remain for the clash and you can purchase yours by clicking here

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