Sheffield Wednesday new boy Michael Smith on Rotherham United fans’ ‘money-grabbing’ accusations and title ambition

Newly-signed Sheffield Wednesday striker Michael Smith has spoken about his hunger to achieve a league title with the Owls – a feat he has never achieved before.

The 30-year-old target man, who made the controversial switch from Rotherham United alongside defender Michael Ihiekwe, has faced a furious reaction from Millers fans since the move was announced.

Smith has been honest of the fact Wednesday’s ability to offer a better financial package played its part in his decision to move from the side that was promoted from League One last year.

But it’s far from the only reason for him making the move, he said, as he sets about achieving Darren Moore’s wish to go one better than Rotherham last year and win the third tier title.

Michael Smith pulled on the Sheffield Wednesday shirt for the first time on Saturday at Alfreton Town. Credit: Bill Wheatcroft

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“Until anyone has been in my position, it’s hard to say,” he said.

“It was for the family, but in footballing terms, it’s good to join a project that the manager here sold to me. To play at Hillsborough every week too – I’ve played here as an away team and to experience that kind of atmosphere every other week was something that really intrigued me.

“There’s that side of it as well, it wasn’t just the opportunity for the family, it was me trying to do something with this football club and help win it promotion.

“Not that the club needed selling anyway, but the first conversation I had with the manager here was not just that he wants to get promoted, he wants to go and win the league.

“That’s something I’ve never managed to do before, so we spoke about that first and the chance to do it in front of those fans, it would be something special.”

On an on-off transfer saga that dominated headlines for several weeks, Smith said days after playing his first 45 minutes for Wednesday in a pre-season run-out at Alfreton Town: “It was a tough summer for me. I’d never been in that situation before, being without a club.

“I had conversations with several other clubs and Sheffield Wednesday cropped up. As I’ve said before, it was an opportunity that myself and my family couldn’t turn down.

“My missus is pregnant, we’re due a second child in November, so all there things we had to weigh up as a family.”