OPPORTUNITY beckons for Jamie Annerson.
The youngster is pencilled in for his third league start at Cheltenham, with first-choice shot-stopper Andy Warrington poised to be out for the rest of April after damaging his foot at home to Morecambe.
In all competitions, Annerson has featured seven times for the Millers in the 2010/11 campaign, making six starts. His last outing duly came as a substitute at Gillingham more than two months ago where he replaced Warrington, who was forced off following a late tackle by Curtis Weston.
Nevertheless, Ian Thomas-Moore is backing the youngster to shine in between the sticks in Warrington’s absence.
Thomas-Moore, who hopes to shake off a thigh problem before the trip to the Robins, told The Star: “Andy (Warrington) has been brilliant this season. I know my dad had a lot of time for him when he was here. But things like this happen.
“Jamie will get a chance now and I’m sure he will be good enough to play. I have not seen him in a game but I don’t think we have got anything to worry about from what I have seen in training. He strikes a great ball.”
The striker added: “Jamie started his career off at Sheffield United so he has got a little bit of pedigree so I don’t think it will be a problem for him stepping in.
“It is a confidence thing with goalkeepers. If he comes in and makes a great save early on, then that will set him up for the rest of the game.”
Having chipped a bone in his foot, Warrington went under the knife two days ago. He also had one of his toe nails removed.
Physio Denis Circuit has confirmed the Sheffielder will visit the consultant next Tuesday for a check up. Circuit has hinted the knock will keep Warrington out for the rest of the month but says he will know more come the end of next week.
By contrast, Thomas-Moore is optimistic he will be fit in time for Cheltenham. He is hopeful of returning to training today.
“It has been a strange injury because it is not something that I have had before,” said Thomas-Moore, who had gone eight matches without a goal before his treble in the 6-0 demolition of Lincoln City. “It is getting better every day so hopefully I will be okay.”