Rotherham United: Thomas sharpens his act for Millers derby
He earned a standing ovation on his first Rotherham United start and Jerome Thomas is confident he can continue to show fans his Premier League pedigree.
Thomas was dangerous on the left wing as the Millers beat Brentford 2-1 last weekend to breathe new life into their push for Championship safety.
And the former Arsenal youngster believes his old sharpness is still there, even though he’s now 32 and had spent all season without a club before signing for new boss Neil Warnock a fortnight ago.
“I feel the same and I think the fans will see that,” he said. “They won’t see me cruising around. I’ll be out on the touchline, chalk on my boots, going down the outside, coming inside.
“It will be exactly the game I’ve always played, getting in crosses, trying to make assists and score goals. I’ve still got my sharpness and pace.”
Thomas, who brought supporters to their feet in acclaim when he was substituted in the 76th minute against the Bees, is likely to retain his place for tomorrow’s South Yorkshire derby at Sheffield Wednesday as third-bottom Rotherham seek to bridge a three point gap between them and 21st-placed MK Dons.
He has seen enough in his short time at AESSEAL New York Stadium to believe the Millers can pull off an unlikely escape act.
“I’ve been impressed,” said the man who has played in the top flight with Charlton, West Brom and Crystal Palace. “I’m very surprised by where they are in the league. The gaffer can’t perform miracles and needs a bit of time.”
With Thomas making his home debut and striker Leon Best and midfielder Lee Frecklington also starting after long injury absences, Rotherham produced one of their best performances of the season against Dean Smith’s side.
The derby will be only Warnock’s fifth match in charge since replacing sacked Neil Redfearn last month.
“It’s important the gaffer finds a starting 11 he can stick with,” Thomas said. “I don’t think chopping and changing would be a good idea.”