Why Hakeem Odoffin was left out of the Rotherham United side

BOSS Leam Richardson has revealed why he took Hakeem Odoffin out of the firing line for Rotherham United in the Yorkshire derby against Huddersfield Town.

The head coach had started the midfielder turned centre-half in all of his 18 matches in charge before yesterday's Championship goalless draw at AESSEAL New York.

However, he left the 25-year-old on the bench for the Terriers clash, citing a change in formation from 3-5-2 to 4-3-1-2 and the need to give him a break from the action as the reasons.

“Haks has played a lot of games,” Richardson told the Advertiser. "He's come in and done extremely well playing out of position. He's just carrying a few little bumps and knocks.

Rotherham United centre-back Hakeem Odoffin. Picture: Jim BrailsfordRotherham United centre-back Hakeem Odoffin. Picture: Jim Brailsford
Rotherham United centre-back Hakeem Odoffin. Picture: Jim Brailsford

“We changed shape, trying to get more forward-thinking, forward-running players on the pitch. It was a case of giving him a little bit of a breather.”

Odoffin has always featured under the boss as one of three centre-backs. Sean Morrison and Cameron Humphreys were the selections against Town when only two were required as the Millers ended a run of nine successive defeats by keeping a first clean sheet in 15 outings.

The fixture saw the welcome sight of another central defender, Tyler Blackett, among the replacements following a six-month absence caused by hamstring surgery.

Full-back Seb Revan made only his second start since a hip issue and wing-back Cohen Bramall entered the fray as a late substitute after being out since damaging his ankle in January.

All three players are left-footed and Richardson was delighted to add some much-needed balance to his matchday group.

“It's good to have Tyler back,” he said. “He's been out for a very long time. I've not got my hands on him yet, so to speak, and I've been here since mid-December. It's been disappointing

“We've missed him, Seb and Cohen at the same time.”

Another left-sided player, winger Shane Ferguson, was also on the bench but there was very little chance of him ever coming on as he bids to shake off a hernia complication.

Rotherham are now without a game until Good Friday, at Preston North End, because of the international break.