As the dust settled on a whirlwind day of transfer activity at Rotherham United, new boy Luke Hyam found that little had changed.
He joined the Millers until January yesterday morning, then looked on during a hectic afternoon as his latest side extended the loan deal of Grant Ward while Greg Halford and Chris Maguire headed out for temporary spells at Birmingham City and Oxford United respectively.
But, as far as the 24-year-old was concerned, he’d simpy swapped a squad with a blunt, straight-taking Tyke as their boss for a squad with a blunt, straight-talking Tyke as their boss.
“The two managers are very similar, both Yorkshiremen and both honest and genuine guys,” the central midfielder said after leaving Mick McCarthy at Portman Road to join up with Neil Redfearn. “That’s how I like a manager to be.”
Hyam is desperate to make his mark at Rotherham, who entertain Bristol City in the Championship tomorrow, after being out with a knee injury since January.
“I just want to get a few games under my belt,” he added. “I had surgery on my knee. It was frustrating, horrible. It’s been hard, and being out makes you realise how much you miss it.
“In the long run I want to push back into the Ipswich team, but first I want to help out Rotherham. I am itching to play a few games.”
The Millers are off the foot of the table after last Saturday’s win at Leeds United, and Hyam, who was being talked about as a Premier League talent before his setback 10 months ago, believes he can play his part in keeping them moving in the right direction.
“I am nowhere near the finished article, but I would just like to help get Rotherham up the table,” he said. “I am surprised where Rotherham are at the moment. But once you get a couple of good results, confidence levels go up, and hopefully Rotherham can go up in the league as well.
“I bring a lot of energy. I get up and down the pitch and get tackles in.”
Hyam is scheduled to stay with the Millers until January 23 but can be recalled by Ipswich with 24 hours’ notice after Christmas Eve.
McCarthy said: “I told Neil we had Luke coming back and that if that was the type he was looking for he wouldn’t get any better.
“Luke gets around the pitch, puts the work in and inspires others by doing that. There’s certainly nothing wrong with his knee and he’s one of the fittest players I’ve ever seen. He is always top of the running charts.”
Redfearn is delighted another midfield man, Ward, will now be at his disposal until January, with the Spurs youngster agreeing a new deal after the expiry of his youth loan yesterday.
“Grant has impressed me. He has shown some mental resilience and toughness for a young boy,” he said.
“The boy has got ability. He is learning the game so, like all young players, he does daft stuff at times. But he is a talented player and what he does is give you energy and legs in midfield. He has got an eye for goal.
“He is a quiet boy, but I think he is deeper and has a tougher mentality than people think. He doesn’t like the idea of being pampered. He likes the idea of getting things done and, to be honest with you, as a mentality that is right up my street.”
The departures of Greg Halford and Chris Maguire represent a remarkable fall from grace for the experienced Championship duo.
Utility man Halford was named as captain and then deposed by previous boss Steve Evans and hasn’t featured in Redfearn’s seven matches in charge, while former Sheffield Wednesday attacker Maguire has dropped down to League Two after failing to impress since his summer move to AESSEAL New York Stadium and finding himself surplus to requirements.
Halford said on his Twitter page: “Delighted to have signed for Birmingham City. Can’t wait to get some games under my belt and play in front of the Birmingham faithful.”
Tomorrow’s match sees former Millers favourite Kieran Agard return to New York for the first time since his 2014 move to the Robins.
The 26-year-old striker scored 26 goals to help Rotherham win promotion from League One, and Redfearn is well aware of his capabilities.
“He’s dynmic. He’s got athleticism and pace. Obviously, the kid’s got an eye for goal as well,” the manager said. “In the summer before he left Rotherham, I think there was a lot of interest in him. He’s got massive potential and he’ll want to come back and do well. “
Agard, a scorer last weekend against Hull City, could come up against Rotherham’s newest arrival, with Hyam expected to be in the Millers’ matchday 17.
“We are very fortunate to take Luke. He is highly regarded by Ipswich,” Redfearn said.
“He can play in one or two positions. He can sit, he can play and he can get box to box. He is competitive and where we are at the moment we are scrapping for every point.
“He’s a good fit for us. He’s match fit and available.
“What Luke does is add to us. How ever we play, we have got combative people in there. That’s how we have got to be from now on.”