Oldham Athletic v Rotherham United: Michael Smith aiming to fill big boots with Millers

Lee Frecklington: Paul Warne aims to replace the departed midfield man. Picture: Chris Etchells
Lee Frecklington: Paul Warne aims to replace the departed midfield man. Picture: Chris Etchells
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‘THE KING is dead, long live the king.’

After time was called on the golden reign of Kieffer Moore, who dined out on League One defences during a memorable spell at the AESSEAL New York Stadium, another big striker with something to prove in Michael Smith is now assigned with trying to fill his considerable boots.

Following a difficult spell at Bury, where goals were a scant commodity, Smith – who did impress in a cameo substitute appearance for the Shakers in their 3-2 loss at Rotherham earlier this season – can at least expect an arm around him under two ex-forwards in Paul Warne and Richie Barker, who both had similar spells in their playing days.

The Wallsend-born player, who has signed an 18-month deal, will immediately come into Warne’s thoughts for this afternoon’s Roses trip to Oldham Athletic, who were pummelled 5-1 by the Moore-inspired Millers in the reverse fixture.

While his height may draw immediate comparisons to Moore, the 6ft 4in frontman Smith believes he will bring other credentials to the table along with aerial ability.

Smith, who spent a brief and unsuccessful loan spell at Barnsley in 2015-16, said: “Big Kieffer is a player in his own right as I am.

Obviously, they are big boots to fill after the goals he scored for the club, but, hopefully, I can chip in with a few myself.

Rotherham United’s Michael Smith

“Obviously, they are big boots to fill after the goals he scored for the club, but, hopefully, I can chip in with a few myself.

Warne has confirmed that he has a bid in for a like-for-like midfield replacement for former captain Lee Frecklington after his move to Lincoln.

Warne said: “I am, hopefully, going to use that money to bring in a central midfielder who is going to be here for three or four years.”