MANAGER Paul Warne has issued a New Year challenge to young winger Julien Lamy to force his way into Rotherham United's first team.
The French flyer signed a one-year deal with the Millers in the summer after impressing during a trial but has had only limited game-time since.
Warne says the 20-year-old needs to shine in reserve games to push his claims for more action in the senior side.
"I think Julien's done okay," said the boss who acknowledged that the attacker is frustrated by his lack of opportunities. "When he trains, he trains well. When he plays in the reserves, he does okay.
"If you want to play in the first team you need to be the best player on the pitch for the ressies.
"When he's played in first-team games he's done okay. He hasn't done enough to cement himself in the first team."
Lamy has made only two starts, in the EFL Trophy at home to Doncaster Rovers and at Lincoln City. He has been on the bench for League One matches several times, with his solitary appearance coming as a 77th-minute substitute against Oxford United in October.
Rotherham have been among the play-off contenders this season but have stuttered at AESSEAL New York Stadium and their form on their own turf has done Lamy no favours.
"I've looked many times to put him on but then gone somewhere else and opted for a bit of experience," Warne said.
"In fairness, if we were flying at home I'd probably have given him more chances on the pitch. We haven't had the kind of season at home where I can experiment with anyone off the bench really."
The manager, whose side sign off 2019 with a New York contest against Peterborough United on Sunday, sees signs of development in his wide man.
"I think Julien's improved," he said. "We are trying to do loads with him on his out-of-possession stuff. With the ball at his feet he's fine. He struggles a bit more with the out-of-possession stuff.
"He's come over here from France, he's been here for only a few months and he's played a handful of first-team games. That's more than you'll see at other clubs.
"I know he's probably frustrated that he's not playing every game but I could say that about another eight or nine of my players.
"He's an improving work in progress really. Hopefully, sooner or later he will get in the team and stay in on merit."