There is a growing feeling that the mantra of the Millers squad is to “aim for the stars, if you fail, you’ll land on the moon”- and with all to play for in the remaining nine games of the season, jet-heeled winger Chiedozie Ogbene admits that his side are going all out for glory, ahead of this afternoon’s hosting of Southend United.
Paul Warne’s side have been vying in and around the summit of the Sky Bet League One standings following an impressive run of form either side of the new year – but with a multitude of teams still in the promotion frame, only a few points separate the divisional pacesetters.
With even a Play-off berth still being far from certain, Warne’s team have little margin for error if they are to finish in the automatic promotion places, but Ogbene, while acknowledging that the pressure will be ratcheted up in the remaining games of the season, is backing his side to rise to the challenge.
“We are ambitious. We want to be champions.” Ogbene revealed.
“The coaching staff are trying to keep us motivated. Everyone in the dressing room wants to win the league and go up as champions. We can only do what we can control. We have to try and win every game possible and see what happens at the end.”
Since his arrival from Brentford in the summer transfer window, Rotherham’s very own roadrunner has given Warne’s side an attacking X-factor – by his willingness to take on the opposition full-back and race to the byline. With blistering speed at his disposal, the Millers fans are duly warned that if ‘you blink you’ll miss him’.
Following extensive work on the training ground, Ogbene has added potency to his game, by improving his decision making with the final ball. Top scorer Freddie Ladapo and Michael Smith have largely been the beneficiaries and the 22-year-old admits that he takes great pleasure from his role of being one of Rotherham’s main supply lines.
“I’m confident in myself right now.” Ogbene added.
“I’m more consistent with my ability and I’m getting crosses in and being confident in taking on defenders. I had a period after the Lincoln game, where it became tough for me, with defenders doubling and trebling up on me. With the help of the management, they are helping me make better decisions in the final third and that’s proving dangerous in the last few games and that’s what I’ll continue to do.
“I have a target in mind in terms of assists, because that’s what I can try and do the most, as a winger. My job is to supply for the strikers. My ambition in each game is to get in the box and supply balls into the box and make things happen for the team.”
The Millers will go into this weekend's clash with the Shrimpers as favourites due to the teams' respective league positions, but Ogbene admits that his side cannot afford to slip up against the Essex-based outfit, if they are to maintain the pressure on the divisional frontrunners.
“We are confident going into most games but when you are top of the table, like we were before, then it becomes more difficult to maintain it.” Ogbene added.
“Teams come to frustrate and some teams just come to get a draw, so it’s becoming more difficult for us.
“We just need to stay calm and compose ourselves. We know we are a good team and that’s why teams are happy to celebrate a draw against us. We are disappointed with a draw.
“We have to stay focused and keep doing what we are doing because it is working for us. We have to try and get an early goal and put them on the backfoot.”