Chiedozie Ogbene gives an update on Rotherham United new-deal talks

Chiedozie OgbeneChiedozie Ogbene
Chiedozie Ogbene
The Millers winger speaks to the Advertiser.

NEW-DEAL negotiations between Rotherham United and star attacker Chiedozie Ogbene are to step up in the wake of the club sealing their Championship survival.

Initial discussions involving his representative were going on while the Millers were closing in on safety and the flying winger says they will move to a new level following Monday’s 1-0 win over Middlesbrough at a packed AESSEAL New York Stadium.

“Things will get more serious,” said Ogbene who turned 26 on the day Rotherham stayed up for the first time in four attempts by seeing off the promotion-chasing Teessiders.

“I’ve been keeping it out of my mind because my only focus has been on helping the team achieve our goal but it’s something I can concentrate on now.”

The Republic of Ireland international is coming to the end of his present contract and will be a wanted man in the summer if he becomes a free agent.

However, he says he remains open to extending his four-year stay in South Yorkshire and has yet to make a decision on his future.

The Millers’ hand has been strengthened by the fact that they will be competing in the Championship again and will have a much bigger budget at their disposal than if they had dropped back into League One.

Chairman Tony Stewart proved with his spending in the January transfer window that he is prepared to dig deep to give manager Matt Taylor a squad capable of establishing themselves in the second tier.

Ogbene came off in the first half of the victory over Boro with a hamstring injury sustained after an ugly challenge by Hayden Hackney and was having a scan this week.

“I just felt a loss of power when I tried to run away from him,” said the Millers man, who was back out on the pitch after the final whistle to take part in the celebrations with supporters.

“It’s been a tough season. I always believed we would do it. Mentally and physically, we just kept lifting each other. We’re a very ‘together’ team.

“The scenes at the end were amazing. I had to be there for them. The fans have been brilliant all year.”

With nothing at stake, the ten-goal top scorer is unlikely to play at Wigan Athletic this Monday as 19th-placed Rotherham complete their campaign but he intends to travel with the squad to the DW Stadium.