Rotherham United boss Matt Taylor on life after Chiedozie Ogbene

The Millers boss talks to the Advertiser.
Chiedozie OgbeneChiedozie Ogbene
Chiedozie Ogbene

BOSS Matt Taylor admits it will be impossible for Rotherham United to find a like-for-like replacement for Premier-League-bound Chiedozie Ogbene.

The flying winger, who was out of contract after four seasons with the Millers, this week chose to sign for Luton Town who will play in the top flight next season following their rise from the Championship.

Taylor says it will take teamwork to fill the void left by the 26-year-old, a key man in last season's second-tier survival push and a winner of two League One promotions and the Papa Johns Trophy during his spell at AESSEAL New York Stadium.

"We can't replace him, we know that," the manager said. "What we hope is that, going into the new season, whatever team is on the pitch is less reliant on the likes of Chieo. We have to share out the load.

"If Chieo struggled last season or was doubled up on or man-marked in games we weren't always able to offset that pressure on him. He had a big burden on him at Rotherham and he'll be more free at Luton. We have to be better, collectively, as a team."

Rotherham, who had offered Ogbene the best deal they could in a bid to tempt him to stay, are sorry to see him go but are also pleased that a player they brought to prominence now has the opportunity to showcase his talents at the highest level.

"We accept it and we're also really proud of it; not just myself and my staff but the people who were here before us and helped him realise his potential," Taylor said.

"Rob Scott (head of recruitment) did brilliantly to bring him here all those years ago. It's absolutely huge that we, as a club, have played a part in the development of a player who is going on to play in the Premier League."

Ogbene arrived in South Yorkshire in 2019 as an unknown from Brentford, blossomed under then-manager Paul Warne and went on to win international recognition with the Republic of Ireland

He scored 14 goals In 136 appearances for the Millers and his searing pace made him a huge asset.

Taylor believes there is even more to come from one of the most popular Rotherham players of recent times. "He's not the finished article yet," the boss said. "He'll still be learning his game a little bit at Premier League level.

The man from Cork was always a happy, outgoing presence. "What a smile, first and foremost," Taylor said. "Chieo made a great contribution to Rotherham United."