It took him 18 games to cement his place in the side this season, but only six to show why he’s so valuable to Rotherham United.
Kirk Broadfoot began the Millers’ Championship campaign with a 10-match ban and it was another eight fixtures before he was picked to start at Leeds United last month.
Rotherham won for the first time under new manager Neil Redfearn at Elland Road and centre-half Broadfoot has been a key figure ever since.
“He has been our best player, for me, for the last four or five games,” Redfearn said after Saturday’s 2-0 home victory over high-flying Hull City.
Broadfoot, a Scottish international and former Glasgow Rangers player, has been in commanding form at the heart of the Rotherham defence during a run of three wins in six games which has seen Redfearn’s men keep three clean sheets.
In that time, he has has had three different partners - Stephen Kelly, Danny Collins and Farrend Rawson - and Redfearn knows he can trust the 31-year-old to give his all whoever he pairs him with.
“He is a real leader,” the Millers manager added, “He plays with his heart on his sleeve. He heads and kicks, and he can play as well. He steps from the back and can pass.”
Broadfoot is also a threat in the opposition penalty area, winning his side two penalties in his last five matches, while he was one of the few players to escape Redfearn’s wrath after the 2-0 Yorkshire derby defeat at Huddersfield Town last Tuesday.
The boss’s withering criticism brough the desired response and Rotherham produced their best performance of the season against the fourth-placed Tigers to close in on a place above the drop zone.
“We were organised and switched on against Hull, aggressive and front-foot, and we looked dangerous,” he said. “They could have had goals, but we could have had more than the two that we got. There were a few stellar performances.
“I will give them the benefit of the doubt over Huddersfield, We had been at full tilt for about four games beforehand and had played well. Maybe it was a game too far that first half. We just looked leggy and tired and we didn’t press well enough.”