Rotherham United: High hopes for Millers loan signing Hyam

Luke Hyam, centre
Luke Hyam, centre
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New signing Luke Hyam is being tipped to make a big impact at Rotherham United, although he faces a battle just to make the starting line-up.

The loan midfielder from Ipswich Town impressed last week when he came off the bench to make his debut in the 3-0 win over Bristol City.

But, with captain Lee Frecklington and Richie Smallwood excelling in the centre of the park as the Millers have taken six points from their last two games, the 24-year-old may have to bide his time.

“Luke understands the level. He understands the tempo and what’s needed,” Redfearn said. “He slotted in perfectly. He’s going to be a good signing for us.”

Hyam, returning to action after 10 months out with a knee injury, will be in the squad for the home clash with Wolves on Saturday.

But Redfearn is expected to stick with the Frecklington-Smallwood axis as he chases a third successive Championship victory after wins over Leeds United and City. Frecklington, playing only his second match after a 10-week injury absence, was among the scorers against the Robins as Rotherham moved to within one point of a place above the drop zone.

Neil Redfearn

Neil Redfearn

“It was nice to see Freck get one. We’ve not had him. He’s been injured,” Redfearn said. “He turned his blood to water against Bristol. He chased everything, closed everything down, got his foot in. Him and Richie Smallwood.

“Richie was different class, for me. Joe Newell, Frecklington, Smallwood ... you can see they’ve played together. And it worked.”

Redfearn’s men could be without two new signings when they face a Wolves squad which includes former Millers favourite striker Adam Le Fondre.

Centre-forward Leon Best is definitelty missing, because of a ban, while defender Stephen Kelly had to come off late in the first half against Bristol.

Jonson Clarke-Harris

Jonson Clarke-Harris

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“It’s a calf strain,” said Redfearn “It’s a bit disappointing, obviously, because we’ve got Best in and he’s out for three games through suspension and then Kells gets an injury.”

But the manager believes the duo, signed as free agents during last month’s international break, are making a contribution to the Millers’ cause even if they’re unavailable for selection.

“I think just having them here gave us a lift during the international break, gave us a lift against Leeds and gave us a lift against Bristol City,” he said.

Lee Frecklington

Lee Frecklington

“They’re proper players. They’ve come in and they’re the right types.”

Rotherham’s chances on Saturday have been boosted by the visitors losing defender Mike Williamson.

Williamson, who helped the West Midlands side keep three clean sheets in his five matches, has been recalled from his loan spell by parent club Newcastle United.

Molineux head coach Kenny Jackett said: “For us now, we have Ethan Ebanks-Landell fit again. We think he is a very promising centre-back who is ready. And the other alternative is to use Matt Doherty and move positions around.

“Those are the options we have going into Saturday’s game against Rotherham.”

Richie Smallwood with Lee Frecklington

Richie Smallwood with Lee Frecklington