Goals can ‘open a lot of doors’ for Rotherham United’s Chiedozie Ogbene

Paul Warne is expecting to see a different Chiedozie Ogbene now he is an international goalscorer – and says he has detected no difference whatsoever in Will Grigg after scoring in his last three Rotherham United appearances.

There is a feel-good factor about the Millers, who have had their best start to a season under Warne, which even the international break has continued.

On Friday Ogbene scored his first goal for the Republic of Ireland, and Josh Kayode scored for their under-21s.

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“Cheo got a rapturous applause when he left the pitch, which he won’t like!” said Warne before training yesterday. “For him it’s amazing, for his family it’s something they can only possibly dream of without being patronising. I’m really pleased for him and really pleased for our club that they’re getting recognised.

Republic of Ireland’s Chiedozie Ogbene, right, fights for the ball with Azerbaijan’s Emin Mahmudov.  Picture: AP Photo

“He’s always enthusiastic anyway but he’ll come back bouncing coming into the room.

“He’ll be buzzing because it’s Smudger (Michael Smith)’s birthday at the weekend so there’ll be cakes in.

“At the start of the meeting today I’ll put his goal on so he’s smiling even more.

“He is a force, I’m just pleased he’s enjoying his life, that’s crucial from my point of view and the way I manage. I want him to enjoy his life and his career and to stay injury-free.

“They haven’t over-cooked him, he’s fresh and he wants to play at the weekend.”

Asked how Ogbene, who won only his second cap against Azerbaijan, can continue improving, Warne said: “I still think he needs to chip in with more goals and more assists although in fairness he puts many a delivery in.

“He’s going in the right direction and goalscoring is a mindset.

“If he did add a lot of goals he would open a lot of doors for himself.”

Grigg made a name for himself with that mindset but is on loan at Rotherham because he lost the habit somewhat. He has four goals in eight appearances for his new club.

Warne says the beauty of his centre-forward is he remains the same regardless.

“You see his celebrations, it’s like he does it every three minutes,” he said.

“You wouldn’t think he was a superstar, he has no airs or graces.

“I can’t say he’s trained any differently, I can’t say he’s had any Warney magic dust on him, it’s probably just that he’s a bit match-sharper.

“It sounds awful but the best footballers are the ones who when they leave training don’t care about it until tomorrow but I think Griggy is proud of what he’s achieved and he started in non-league football, they always seem more grounded than most.

“It’s important for Will because he hadn’t scored many recently but when he came here I told him there was no pressure on him to score. They put enough pressure on themselves.

“There was a pressure on him to link play, to forge relationships with Freddie (Ladapo), Smudge and JJ (Kayode) and to work really hard in possession.

“I did tell him we’d create a lot of chances or half-chances for him.

“He’s grounded beyond all levels so the fact he has scored probably reiterates our faith in him and his faith in himself, which is the greatest gift for a sportsman.”

Rotherham have no fresh injury concerns for tomorrow’s visit of Danny Cowley’s Portsmouth.