Punch reports that veteran Nigeria forward Osaze Odemwingie says the battle to keep Rotherham United in the Championship will bring out the best in him and provide him another chance to showcase his talents.
Osaze joined the Millers on a three-month deal as a free agent on Monday after being released by Premier League club Stoke City in the summer.
The former Lokomotiv Moscow attacker, who also attracted interest from English third-tier side Bolton Wanderers, becomes new Rotherdam manager Kenny Jackett’s first signing since replacing Alan Stubbs at the English second-tier Championship outfit on Friday.
Ex-Bristol City loanee Osaze, who last played a competitive match in April, says he is ready for the challenge and commended the Millers boss Jackett for bringing him to New York Stadium.
Rotherham, who are rooted to the bottom of the 24-club Championship table on six points after 14 games, are in a relegation battle but South Africa 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winner Osaze says he is aware of the herculean task ahead, saying the “pressure” will help bring out his very best.
“I am looking forward to this,” the 35-year-old former Lille star, who represented Nigeria at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, told the club’s official website on Tuesday.
“I love pressure as a player, I love situations like this, and a lot of times I have delivered, I hope it will be the same in this club. I want to play out of my skin because there is a level that I want to get back to and the only way to get back to that is to do my best and work really hard.
“It has been a while but I have tried to stay fit and keep on top of things. I have had a few training sessions in the last few days and I feel ready to go, I don’t think it will take me long to get back to my best.”
Osaze says he still harbours ambitions of playing at a higher level, adding that Rotherham move could act as a launching pad.
“I believe I can still play in one of the top leagues in Europe, and ever since I contacted Kenny, I knew Rotherham can showcase what I can still offer to the game,” The Sun quoted him as saying.
“But I think the Championship will help me get back to where I want to be. I still have so much to offer and am itching to play football after so many months out.”
He added, “Kenny is a great manager, he really knows the game well and I want to to do him and the fans proud and try and get us out of this mess.”