doc

RICHIE Smallwood knows Rovers are in for a tough test at Glanford Park this evening, having spent time as a Scunthorpe United player last season.

Smallwood spent six months on loan with the Iron at the start of last season when they were riding high at the top of League One.

The midfielder returned to Rotherham United in January, with Scunthorpe going on to make the play-offs, losing in the semi-final stage to Millwall.

The Iron had the second best home record in League One last season, and remain unbeaten this term, with the 26-year-old not underestimating the task in hand.

“I know how they play,” Smallwood told the Lancashire Telegraph.

“It will be really difficult, they are very well organised and hardworking, especially at Glanford Park.

“They have got a very good record there and it will be tough.

“They have started well, they are still unbeaten, and it will be a tough game.

“But we will be ready for it.”

With Scunthorpe riding high, and experienced pair Stephen Dawson, now at Bury, and Neal Bishop impressing in the middle of the park, Smallwood struggled for game-time during his spell with Scunthorpe.

He made just eight starts, and a further 11 appearances, having scored on his debut in a 4-0 win over Southend.

But Smallwood was particularly impressed by Iron boss Graham Alexander, and the team spirit, during his short-stay.

He added: “I really enjoyed it.

“The manager is really good and I think he will go on to manage bigger clubs than Scunthorpe if I am totally honest.

“The only thing I didn’t really enjoy was not playing as much as I would have liked.

“But I couldn’t really argue because the team was doing really well and there were two experienced players in there and they were playing well and the team was top of the league.

“The training was good, the manager was brilliant, it was one of the best dressing rooms I have been in and it was great.”