Rotherham United: Paul Warne talks extending Michael Ihiekwe’s contract

Rotherham United are continuing to get their house in order after Michael Ihiekwe became the latest player to have his contract extended.

Thursday, 7th March 2019, 2:53 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th March 2019, 3:03 pm
Michael Ihiekwe slides in on Sheffield Wednesday's Fernando Forestieri

The Millers have triggered the extension option in the defender's deal, meaning he is now contracted to the club until next summer.

It follows 24 hours after they did the same to midfielder Will Vaulks, with both men due to be out of contract in the summer.

For Ihiekwe, it represents something of a revival at the club after he spent the first half of the season out on loan at League One Accrington.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

He was a key part in last term's promotion campaign, but found himself down the pecking order this term following the additions of Clark Robertson and Sean Raggett. The 26-year-old, who arrived from Tranmere in 2017, played 23 times for Stanley but was recalled in January.

There was a potential for him to leave again during the transfer window, but the Millers could not do their own business to allow it and it has turned out well for Ihiekwe.

He has fought his way into boss Paul Warne's team, starting the last five games, he has built a solid partnership with Robertson.

Warne praised Ihiekwe's attitude and is pleased to tie him down.

“Icky has been brilliant and has displayed every quality that I require of my players here,” the boss said. “We had an honest discussion at the start of the year, in which he told me he wanted to get out and play games.

“I totally respected that but also reminded him that I’d be keeping a close eye on his progress. I watched all of his games at Accrington and we spoke regularly.

“The reports that I received were always positive and we were more than happy to take him back in January. As I expected, he has continued to work hard and has subsequently earned his place in the side.”

There is plenty of work for Warne still to do with his squad as Jon Taylor, Anthony Forde, Joe Newell, Joe Mattock and Ryan Williams are all out of contract in the summer.

Some of those players may have options of an extra year while Warne has already said he is keen for Mattock and Williams to be offered new deals.

Dominic Ball and David Ball are also out of contract, with both men currently on loan at Aberdeen and Bradford respectively.