Rotherham United: New boys set for baptism of fire

Damian Martinez
Damian Martinez

Rotherham United new boys Lawrie Wilson and Damian Martinez are expected to be pitched straight into derby action today.

Right-back Wilson and goalkeeper Martinez are likely to start against Sheffield Wednesday in the AESSEAL New York Stadium Championship battle for South Yorkshire bragging rights.

Wilson, aged 27, from Charlton Athletic, and Arsenal’s 22-year-old Argentine, Martinez, have joined on loan for the rest of the season, with Wilson’s deal possibly ending in a permanent move.

Boss Steve Evans said of Wilson: “He has the industry and skilful attributes than can improve us. He can play right-back, right side of midfield, centre midfield, right-side centre-half, but he’s predominantly a right-sided midfield player.”

Martinez has been brought in after Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat at Nottinghsm Forest where Evans blamed Adam Collin for one of the goals.

The Millers manager enthused: “It’s only a fewmonths ago that this kid was starring in the Champions League against the likes of Dortmund and Anderlecht and keeping clean sheets in the Premier League.

“He’s so highly regarded at Arsenal, He’s very, very close to being first choice there.

“He’s here to compete for the shirt. There’s certainly no agreement with Arsene Wenger that says big Emi has to start. We’ve brought in goalkeeper after goalkeeper here and Adam Collin has seen them all away.

“I’ve had a long chat with Adam. he accepts there’s probabl y been a little dip in form from him.”

Meanwhile, Wilson, revealed how his loan move came about.

He said: “I came into training on Thursday and they asked me if I’d like to go out on loan to Rotherham . To be honest, I jumped at the opportunity to go out there and play some football.

“Today (Friday) is the first time I have met the lads. They’re a very good group, very nice and welcoming. I’m already feeling quite at home here.

“At the end of the day, it’s football and you all go out there and play football together. It’s a common ground for everyone, no matter where you’re from, no matter your background or upbringing.”