Rotherham United: Peter Odemwingie set for Millers debut, and Kenny Jackett responds to fans’ welcome

Peter Odemwingie

Peter Odemwingie

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Striker signing Peter Odemwingie is expected to be plunged straight into action for Rotherham United as new boss Kenny Jackett considers bringing in more free agents.

The former Premier League star joined the Championship Millers this week on a deal until January and Jackett intends to make the most of his abilities at Ipswich Town on Saturday.

“He is fit, whichever way we do it, whether he starts and gives us everything he’s got and then perhaps comes off early or if he comes off the bench,” the manager said.

“I do feel he is ready to make a contribution at the weekend.”

Jackett will continue to monitor the free-agent market and hasn’t ruled out more players coming to New York Stadium before the transfer window reopens in January.

“We are looking around for others,” he said. “If there is an opportunity for players to come in on trial then we will do it.”

Kenny Jackett

Kenny Jackett

Odemwingie appeared in the top flight for West Brom, Cardiff City and Stoke City and also played in the final stages of two World Cups with Nigeria.

“He is a player I have admired for a long time,” Jackett added. “He can bring some leadership. He knows how to play both centre-forward and in the wide area and can provide for the next two months a lot of quality and experience in what has been quite a young 11.”

The arrival of Jackett, aged 54, to replace sacked Alan Stubbs has been warmly welcomed by supporters who see him as the right man to try to bridge an eight-point gap between their bottom-placed side and safety.

“I’m delighted to hear that. That’s terrific,” Jackett said. “All my determination is directed towards working hard to improve this team and get the most out of the squad in the short term.

“That’s 90 per cent of my work at the moment. As we go along, it will include targeting, identifying players window by window, improving what we do.

“I’m very pleased to hear about the fans. My head is down and I’m working as hard as I possibly can. I’m going to get a place in the area and make sure I can commit to it 100 per cent, because that’s what I’ve done at every club.

“I do feel that at every club I’ve been at I’ve left them in in a better condition than I inherited them. I want that to be the case here.

“It’s very, very good to hear the fans have welcomed my appointment. All my determination is to replay that faith and show I can make a difference here and improve it.”

Right-back Stephen Kelly returns to the squad for the trip to Portman Road after and achilles injury, but no date has been put on the comebacks of centre-half Kirk Broadfoot and central midfielder Tom Adeyemi who have foot and calf problems respectively.

Right winger Grant Ward and centre-forward Leon Best, who both played a part in Rotherham’s second-tier survival last season, are expected to be in the Ipswich starting line-up.

Ward scored a hat-trick after coming on as a half-time substitute in his first match for the Tractor Boys, against Barnsley, in August, and observers in East Anglia say both former Millers have done quite well.

Rotherham midfield man Richie Smallwood is on loan at League Scunthorpe United until at least January and Jackett will look at recalling him nearer the time.

Interviews for a new head of recruitment are expected to take place next week.

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