Michael Ihiekwe full of praise for Rotherham United’s captain Richard Wood

ROTHERHAM UNITED defensive axis Michael Ihiekwe and Richard Wood may have a fair way to go to assume the collective sobriquet of ‘Dolly and Daisy’ – but the respect between the duo is obvious.

Michael Ihiekwe of Rotherham United. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

That nickname was famously bestowed by Sir Alex Ferguson upon ex-Manchester United central defenders Steve Bruce and Gary Pallister, whose partnership proved the bedrock of the Red Devils’ rise in the early Nineties.

In their own way, Ihiekwe and Wood have been integral to the Millers’ cause this season, with Wood being the senior man and dishing out the rollickings when needs be as Bruce did to Pallister.

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The pair retained a strong friendship and understanding, just as Ihiekwe and Wood do now.

Ihiekwe, a stand-out for Millers this term, said: “He has been brilliant for me – on and off the pitch. Obviously he is our captain and has been around for a long time and played a lot of games.

“On the pitch, in that respect, there are loads of things I can learn from him every week.

“Off the pitch, we are quite close and are both dads and that brings you closer. He is brilliant with all the lads and I try and take any little thing from him I can.

“He is helpful and not one of those who keeps everything close to his chest, he is open and is a good captain. He wants the best out of the players and the best for the team and he is brilliant in that aspect.

“It is just little things and conversations we have after the game. Sometimes, the gaffer brings me and him in and goes over things and he points little things out and gives me pointers.

“He (Wood) has played longer than everyone in the team and everyone respects what he has to say. You sometimes need that when you come in at half-time and some of the lads aren’t pulling their weight.

“You need that figure and he brings that.”

Ihiekwe’s form is such that many are tipping him for a place in League One’s PFA Team of the Year, while Warne in no doubt about his credentials, having tipped him to clean up at the club’s end-of-season awards night – whenever that is.

The Liverpudlian added: “I got into the journalists’ one, but the PFA one is a good one as it comes from the players as well.

“It is not really on my mind, but I am taking it game by game and whatever comes from it.”

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