Rotherham United: Millers new boy Tom Thorpe focuses on first-team place

Millers new boy Tom Thorpe
Millers new boy Tom Thorpe
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Rotherham United new boy Tom Thorpe is happy to leave the bright lights of Old Trafford behind him in his quest for first-team football.

The young centre-half was a star of the youth set-up at Manchester United and trained regularly with a senior squad including the likes of Wayne Rooney and Angel Di Maria.

The Millers work out in Scotland ahead of the Dundee match

The Millers work out in Scotland ahead of the Dundee match

But he jumped at the chance to join the Millers as he looks to further his career.

“Rotherham are a big club in their own right and it was naturally the next step for me to come and play first-team football,” the 22-year-old said.

“I had been at United for quite a while and tried to force myself into that squad, but it was a case of I wanted to come and play first-team football. Hopefully I can work hard and get that here.

It had come to the point where I did want first-team football, to come out and prove myself really. If I had stayed I would have been on the periphery and not really playing. My aim is to work hard in training and force myself into the team, and then the aim is to stay there.”

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Thorpe, who played six Championship matches while on loan at Birmingham City last season, has featured in all of Rotherham’s four pre-season matches so far, and will be hoping for more action tonight when Steve Evans’ squad take on Scottish Premier League side Dundee.

He has a reputation as a central defender who is comfortable in possession and likes to play positively, but he has no doubt what his main priority is.

“First and foremost, I defend,” he said. “I love defending, and then I like to bring the ball out and start an attack. But first and foremost I love to defend, doing my job.”

Thorpe made one Premier League appearance at Old Trafford before parting company with the Manchester giants and choosing the Millers ahead of a host of other interested clubs.

“I played against West Ham. Obviously that was a really good experience, something you have always dreamed of as a kid coming through the academy,” he said.

“I had numerous mentors. From the under-18s it was Paul McGuinness and then from the under-21s it was Warren Joyce, who definietly installed a bit of fight and never-say-die attitude, which is good for any player to have.

“You try to learn off players more than anything, I trained with the first team numerous times.”

Millers left-back Joe Mattock has had scans on the ankle he injured in last Saturday’s 3-0 win over Greenock Morton.

X-rays have shown there is no break, and the club are now checking for ligament or tissue damage.

Evans is hopeful the 25-year-old will be back in action in around two weeks.

Right-back James Tavernier, the former New York Stadium loan favourite in whom the Millers were interested earlier in the summer, yesterday joined Glasgow Rangers from Wigan Athletic.