Is the Rotherham United door still open for Peter Kioso?

A rare Rotherham United appearance for Peter Kioso last season. Picture: Jim BrailsfordA rare Rotherham United appearance for Peter Kioso last season. Picture: Jim Brailsford
A rare Rotherham United appearance for Peter Kioso last season. Picture: Jim Brailsford
PETER Kioso could still have a future at Rotherham United despite being sent out on a season-long loan because his manager believes he isn't ready for the demands of Championship football.

The right-back was plagued by injuries in his first year with the Millers as the club secured their second-tier safety and then couldn't break into the side when he was finally fit.

He has done so well in the early stages of the 2023/24 campaign in the division below with Peterborough as he bids to get his career back on track after making only 13 appearances last term that Posh have made him their captain.

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Rotherham boss Matt Taylor sent out a message of encouragement, saying that the 23-year-old will be back in his plans if the loan move to London Road continues to be a success.

“Peter has another year on his contract with us after this season,” he said. “We feel the best thing for him is to go and get some game-time with a League One club – and a good one at that. He wanted it as well. I'm sure we'll see a different animal when he returns.”

The Millers have had loan teenager Dexter Lembikisa playing at right-back and have cover in that position now that experienced Lee Peltier has recovered from a calf problem.

Kioso had started every one of Peterborough's league matches before missing last Saturday's home match with Bristol Rovers as he served a one-match ban for accumulating five bookings.

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The defender, who scored a superb goal in a 3-0 win over Cheltenham Town on September 16, was back in the side for Tuesday's trip to Carlisle United.

He was signed for the Millers by former manager Paul Warne from Luton Town last summer and soon needed groin surgery before being laid low by a series of ankle complaints.

The former Hartlepool United man was available for the run-in but struggled at times even to make the bench and his last league start came on New Year's Day at Millwall.

Taylor was angered at how often the defender broke down in his first year at AESSEAL New York Stadium.

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When the Advertiser asked the boss if he viewed Kioso as a performer of second-tier quality, the boss replied: “Not yet, and not on the back of last season. It was such a stop-start time for him.

“I think if he’d had more game-time last year he could have found his rhythm and become a Championship player. But it was so difficult to put him in with where his body was. His game didn't have the substance we needed.”