Rotherham United midfielder Hakeem Odoffin’s clear message to any new Millers signings in January transfer window

Roll up your sleeves, be defiant and above all else, bring a positive disposition.

For the second season running – and umpteenth time at Championship level – the Millers are embroiled in a survival scrap and cannot carry any passengers if they are to save their second-tier skins.

If they do somehow get out of the bottom three, whole-hearted, committed and dependable players like Hakeem Odoffin will have something to do with it.
Stoke City's Sead Haksabanovic runs past Rotherham United rival Hakeem Odoffin during the Sky Bet Championship match at the AESSEAL New York Stadium on Saturday. Photo: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images.
Stoke City’s Sead Haksabanovic runs past Rotherham United rival Hakeem Odoffin during the Sky Bet Championship match at the AESSEAL New York Stadium on Saturday. Photo: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images.
The Londoner has shown his prowess both in midfield and in central defence. His Rotherham career may have started slowly, but he possesses all the characteristics of players who have historically served the club well at this level before.

In a January transfer window which is notoriously tricky, Millers chief Leam Richardson must unearth similar gems.

It’s difficult, but by no means impossible with Richardson – who has seen loanees Dexter Lembikisa and Fred Onyedinma leave – seeking to recruit the calibre of player and person he wants.

Odoffin said: “That’s football and the January transfer window and something you expect to happen.

We welcome anyone who is coming in with open arms as long as they are willing to work and fight for the team as we want positive people who are going to fight for the cause because we are in a position where we are going to be fighting.

“Quality needs to come with that as well.

“All I know is that if my name is on the teamsheet, I am going to put my best foot forward and put myself in a position where I can help the team and hopefully get results from there.”

Eight points adrift of safety, the Millers now face a demanding set of fixtures against sides in the promotion mix.

First up, Richardson’s side head north to a play-off chasing Middlesbrough side who they turned over on Boxing Day.

They start February with a home game with an in-form Southampton side before visiting another top-two contender in Leeds United the following weekend.

Back-to-back home games with top-six candidates Hull City and Watford follow before a tough midweek trip to Ipswich Town.

It looks a daunting schedule, although the Millers have taken points from a number of those clubs.

While their away record remains dismal, there is some historical hope as they prepare for Saturday’s visit to the Riverside at least.

The Millers are unbeaten on their last three trips to Teesside and have not conceded a goal.

It still won’t stop people writing them off at the start of a teak-tough run.

Odoffin, who netted the winner in the Millers’ safety-clinching win over Boro last May, continued: “We don’t expect anyone to give us any favours and are going to have to take everything we want (ourselves) with a certain attitude. But that’s fine and I am more than up for it.

“It is what it is. We cannot control the outside and can only control what we can. It’s on us and we have to take that responsibility. I feel confident in us being able to do that.”

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