Rotherham United: Manchester United connection as Millers sign Tom Lawrence, Scott Wootton and Reece James

Tom Lawrence
Tom Lawrence

Rotherham United manager Steve Evans is relying on the Old Trafford connection to fire up his side for tomorrow’s crucial clash with Blackpool.

The Millers face the Championship’s basement club at New York Stadium looking for the win which would propel them out of the bottom three and towards midtable.

There could be three new players with Manchester United links in the starting line-up after Evans added three new players before the loan transfer window closed yesterday.

“We’re delighted where we are with our squad today,” he said.

“I think we go into Blackpool a lot more prepared and ready than we would have done against Birmingham City last week.”

Evans swooped on deadline day to land 20-year-old forward Tom Lawrence, from Leicester City, and centre-half Scott Wootton, 23, from Leeds, 24 hours after capturing Manchester United left-back Reece James.

Both Lawrence and Wootton played for the Old Trafford giants - Wootton in the Champions League - before moving to other clubs.

Evans said of Lawrence: “He’s an exciting young player. We tracked him at Manchester United and then when he had a good loan spell in the Championship with Yeovil.

“He’s gifted enough that when Ryan Giggs took the chair at Old Trafford after the exit of David Moyes he chose young Tom Lawrence to play. It shows how highly he was regarded.

“But in the summer Leicester City got up to the Premier League and the resources that come with that allowed them to go and buy him.

“He’s gone there and been a little bit frustrated not breaking into the team there. I met Tom and he wants to play first-team football. It was an easy sell really.”

The loan trio could all make their debuts tomorrow, while Argentine winger Emmanuel Ledesma, brought in last week from Middlesbrough, is in line for his first start.

After five matches without a win, the Millers go into tomorrow’s match desperate to give themselves a lift, but Evans says any pressure he feels comes from within.

“There’s pressure on every game,” he said. “There was pressure on the first game of the season at Derby County. There was pressure on the game against Birmingham last week. There will be pressure when we go to Cardiff.

“It’s such an intense league, the Championship. We sit third from bottom but if we’d won against Birmingham we’d sit about six places higher. That’s how tight it is.

“We need to focus on one game at a time. There’s internal pressure to win games and there is nothing more demanding than internal pressure. That comes from yourself, not your boss.

“My boss (chairman Tony Stewart) is completely supportive of what we trying to do, understands what we’re trying to do. Last season and the season before we’ve come through against that pressure and delivered some big results. I’ve every confidence that will happen again.”

Blackpool have signed Wolves defender Kevin Foley and Crystal Palace midfielder Stuart O’Keefe.