Dangerman Ryan Williams says a vote of confidence from understanding boss Paul Warne is behind the flying start to his Rotherham United career.
The former Barnsley winger is already a key figure for the Millers and has helped his new club climb to eighth in the League One table.
Warne has played Williams, whose two-year spell at Oakwell was beset by an injury which was wrongly diagnosed, in all 11 league matches, and the 23-year-old will be in the starting line-up at Rochdale this afternoon.
“I always believed that if I had games, I would perform, and that is what has happened,” the summer signing said. “The gaffer has got faith in me. I am playing well at the moment and it is good.
“I remember last year, it was something like October 22 when I played my first game for a year or something for Barnsley, against Brentford. What a difference a year can make. I have been fit for well over a year now.
“I have got over that bit where people think of me with the injuries. Hopefully, that is behind me now.”
Australian Williams warmed to Warne when the boss allowed him to spend an extra week Down Under to be with his family before pre-season began.
He said Warne told him: ‘Look, I am a human being before I am a manager. If you need time with your family, that’s fine. I have got a family.’
“He’s a really nice guy and a good character,” the player added. “If you work hard for him, he will back you.”
Meanwhile, Warne can’t get enough of the grumpy approach of another new boy, midfielder Richie Towell, who is with Rotherham on a season-long loan from Brighton.
“He’s one hell of a bad loser,” the manager revealed. “If there was a mic on the side of the pitch, you would hear him moaning all game, which is quite a good attribute really.”
Towell is also a likely starter against Dale, and Warne said: “He brings a bit of creativity and he’s got a really good work ethic.
“Last Monday when I pulled him and told him he’d been playing in the Tuesday-night game (Checkatrade Trophy tie with Chesterfield) for 45 minutes, he was just like: ‘Brilliant, Gaffer. I just want to play.’
“Some other players might have thought: ‘Hang on a second, this is a punishment.’ That definitely wasn’t the case. His attitude around the place is really bright. He just want to play all the time.”
Warne and striker Kieffer Moore lost out to Shrewsbury Town’s Paul Hurst and Portsmouth’s Brett Pitman respectively in the Sky Bet League One September Manager and Player of the Month awards.