Rotherham United: Millers injury worry over six-goal Kieffer Moore
Leading scorer Kieffer Moore is a fitness concern for Rotherham United ahead of Saturday's Yorkshire derby at Bradford City.
The 6ft 5in striker, who has hit six goals this season, came off in the second half of Tuesday’s night’s 5-1 home destruction of Walsall and is being assessed by the Millers’ medical staff.
Paul Warne’s side are up to ninth in League One after three successive wins and will be desperate to have their in-form frontman available for the clash with the fourth-placed Bantams.
“Kieffer’s got a groin complaint,” said manager Warne after the centre-forward left the pitch in the 62nd minute. “He said his groin was sore.
Winger Jon Taylor, who scored twice against the Saddlers as captain Lee Frecklington bagged a hat-trick, was also substituted after picking up an injury.
“Tayls had a little bit of a calf strain. I wasn’t going to take any risks with him,” Warne added. “I’m not sure if Kieffer will be okay for Saturday. I think Tayls will be. Kieffer is less likely.”
The Millers led 4-0 at the break against Walsall but conceded a goal in the 48th minute before Frecklington completed his treble with two minutes to go.
“We did what we always seem to do - we didn’t start the second half well,” the skipper said.
“They get a goal and it creates a bit of nervous tension. But we stuck at it and kept going, and you can’t have too many negatives on a night when you’ve won 5-1.”
The hat-trick was the first of Frecklington’s professional career and the 32-year-old’s first goals of the season.
“I’m delighted to have that milestone,” he said. “I’ve had two on a couple of occasions before but never managed to finish it off until now.
The midfield man opened his account with a stunning 30-yard volley and then added a header from Will Vaulks’ cross before applying a sharp close-range finish to Anthony Forde’s delivery.
“I was delighted to see the first one go in,” he said. “In recent weeks it could have gone in the stand or even over the stand!
“Will’s put a great ball into the box for the second one and it’s just about getting a good connection and sending it goalwards.
“The third one, I didn’t want to get forward too much because we were 4-1 up but I saw an opportunity to go and, thankfully, Fordey’s put in on a plate for me.
“The first one was my favourite without a doubt. When you connect with a volley like that ... it’s a hard technique. I was delighted with that.
“I’ve scored a couple of others as good, I think, but it’a definitely up there with the best. What comes to mind? There was one at Bury (for Lincoln City), the goal here against Sheffield Wednesday. Then I got one for Peterborough against Ipswich that I was fond of.”
Frecklington’s boss was a striker in his own playing days but the magic triple always eluded him.
“I never scored a hat-trick,” Warne lamented. “I had a chance at Millmoor. I had a penalty, I think it was against Oxford, and I missed it for a hat-trick.
“After that, I thought: ‘I’m never taking a penalty again. If I can’t score one when I’m on a hat-trick, then I don’t have the confidence to take them.’
“It was a poor penalty, to be honest!”