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Sheffield Wednesday new boy reacts to ‘response’ from Rotherham United fans after free transfer switch

Sheffield Wednesday’s new signing Michael Smith has said he understands that his Rotherham United reputation has been ‘tainted’ by his move to Hillsborough.

Rotherham United talisman Smith is heading for pastures new this summer.

The striker has turned down a deal with the Millers and will be joining Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday along with centre-back Michael Ihiekwe in a double blow to Paul Warne and co.

Unsurprisingly, the moves haven’t been particularly well greeted by Rotherham United fans. But, that is something Smith has said he gets.

Speaking with the Rotherham Advertiser, the Wallsend-born striker has said that he knows his time at the AESSEAL New York Stadium will be ‘tainted’ by his decision to join the Owls. He went on to add that he hopes fans can understand his decision to head for Hillsborough in good time.

Here’s what he had to say:

“I’m a smart enough lad to know that my Rotherham reputation built up over four and a half years is going to be tainted now.

“I made the decision and I’m big enough to take everything that comes with it. I’ve given my all for the club. It’s really sad that it’s ended this way. Football is completely ruled by emotion and I ‘get’ the response to what I’ve done.

“Hopefully, once the dust has settled a bit, people might understand. They might not. That’s just part and parcel of it.”

A new start

Smith will be hoping to hit the ground running with Sheffield Wednesday after making the decision over his next step.

If he can emulate the form he showed for the Millers last campaign, then the striker will become a big hit at Hillsborough. He managed 24 goals and seven assists in 54 outings for Warne’s side, taking his total for the club to 60 goals in 210 games.

It will be hoped that time can heal the relationship between Smith and Rotherham United fans after what would have been a really fondly remembered affiliation between the club and the player.

Until then, Smith’s full focus will be on getting Darren Moore’s Sheffield Wednesday back into the Championship.

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