Rotherham United: Millers look for Jonson Clarke-Harris to realise full potential

Millers striker Jonson Clarke-Harris
Millers striker Jonson Clarke-Harris

Rotherham United believe there is no limit to what young striker Jonson Clarke-Harris can achieve, as long as he adopts the right approach.

The centre-forward had his first taste of Championship football last term after becoming the Millers’ record signing when he joined from Oldham Athletic at the end of August.

Manager Steve Evans said ahead of the second tier’s August 8 opening day: “We are looking for much more from Jonson Clarke-Harris.

“I’ve spoken to him about seeing a bit less of that angry young man and more of a rounded young man who caresses the ball with a little bit more vision.”

Evans sees the same level of potential in Clarke-Harris as he does in fellow attacker Jordan Bowery.

“Jordan is exciting, and him and Clarke-Harris can be what they went to be,” he said. “But they have to take on board the things we are trying to teach them and let us improve them.”

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Clarke-Harris scored three times in 15 league appearances, 10 of them as a substitute, in the 2014/15 campaign, including the Millers’ goal of the season in the 2-1 home win over Leeds United, and had spells on loan at MK Dons and Doncaster Rovers as Evans looked to give him more first-team football.

“People forget he’s 20 years old,” Evans added. “When you are 20, you sometimes think it is all about power and strength. But that is an asset on top of cushioning the ball and being able to lay it off and spinning and moving.”

Evans paired Clarke-Harris up front with 23-year-old Bowery after half-time int the final match of last season, a 0-0 draw at Leeds.

“We have good hopes for them,” he said.

“It was quite interesting because when we put them on against Leeds our second half was nowhere near as effective as the first half. But Neil Redfearn (then Leeds head coach) said every time we went over the halfway line we looked more of a threat to him because we had pace and power.

“I thought we had more of a threat because we had more of the ball in the first half. Neil thought we could counter-attack with more pace and power than we could with Wardy (Danny Ward) and Derbs (Matt Derbyshire) who are different types.”