Rotherham United midfielder Hakeem Odoffin believes the Millers are capable of going toe-to-toe with anyone in the Sky Bet Championship but was keen to stress that the team would not be underestimating the challenge of facing Huddersfield Town on Thursday evening.
The Terriers are battling alongside Matt Taylor’s men to try and preserve their second tier status and picked up an impressive victory over Preston North End on Boxing Day ahead of tonight’s Yorkshire derby.
Town are five points and places behind the Millers in the standings heading into the contest, but Odoffin insists that the team are only focusing on delivering a strong performance at John Smith’s Stadium.
“We’ve gone toe-to-toe with some good teams, who are pushing towards the upper echelons of the division, so we know we have the capabilities to get results at this level,” Odoffin told www.themillers.co.uk.
“We won’t be underestimating them, they picked up a good result at the weekend and will buoyed by that, so we’re under no illusions that it’ll be anything other than a tough game.
“It’s a big game for both teams and both sets of fans. We know the importance of it in terms of the table, but every game in this league is a big one and presents its own challenges.
“Our only focus is trying to ensure that we put on a good performance and give ourselves every chance of taking all three points.”
The Millers have had to battle both injury and illness concerns in recent weeks, with a sickness bug sweeping it’s way through Roundwood in the last fortnight.
Odoffin was one of the unlucky players to come down with the illness but having now shaken it off, he is feeling fresh and raring to go.
“There was a bit of a bug going round the camp when we came back from Cyprus and unfortunately, I was one of the players who caught it.
“It hit me quite hard to be honest, not just in the sense that it kept me away from the building for a few days but also when I came back, I had to get back up to speed.
“I feel like I’ve done that now and I feel fresh and ready to go. Thankfully, I’ve put it behind me and I’m looking forward to the upcoming games."
“I’m definitely over the worst of it now and in training I’ve been feeling good and I’ve been feeling sharp, which is really encouraging.
“For me, it’s not about kicking on and getting back into the swing of things and hopefully I can be involved as much as I can.”
With Georgie Kelly, Grant Hall and Josh Vickers all already faced with a spell on the sidelines, Ben Wiles was the latest player to pick up an injury, when he landed awkwardly on his ankle during Monday’s 2-2 draw with Stoke City at AESSEAL New York Stadium.
Manager Matt Taylor revealed on Wednesday that the midfielder could be set for an extended period out of action, with Jamie Lindsay and Hakeem Odoffin his more natural placements in the starting XI.
Whilst being more concerned about his stricken teammate, Odoffin stressed that he will be ready when called upon.
“There’s great competition for places here and my position is no different, it is all about being ready when called upon."
“You never know what can happen in football, especially when it comes to injuries. We were all hoping for better news in regards to Wilesy but as a team we now need to come together.
“At this stage, we all want to support him, but we know that these things can happen in football and for me, it is about ready to step up if called upon and help the team.”