Rotherham United’s hopes of climbing away from the Championship relegation zone have been dealt a severe blow with the loss of striker Tom Lawrence.
Leicester City have recalled the former Manchester United youngster from his spell at the New York Stadium, with the Premier League side due to lose players to next month’s African Cup of Nations.
The Millers sit just three points off third-from-bottom Millwall in the Championship, but Lawrence’s time in South Yorkshire has coincided with a recent upturn in results.
The 20-year Welshman is yet to taste defeat in a Millers shirt, Rotherham drawing five and winning one when Lawrence scored in the 2-1 victory at Wigan.
Manager Steve Evans has also tinkered with United’s playing style, developing a more attractive passing game, and Lawrence has been integral to that.
“Young Tom has been outstanding on and off the pitch in his short time with us,” Evans said
“He may well be back again, we’ll have to wait and see. I had a long chat with Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson and he needs immediate cover as he is losing a couple of players due to the forthcoming African Nations Cup.
“We are grateful to Nigel and Leicester City for allowing us to have Tom here and I have no doubt we will look to do further player business in January.”
Rotherham’s points haul of eight from a possible 18 is harsh, and their performances have warranted more. But midfielder Richie Smallwood – relishing first-time football after joining from Middlesbrough – believes they are on the right track.
“The improvement in the performances is very clear recently and we are just needing a little luck at the moment,” he said.
“I feel with the way we have been playing we deserve to have a few more victories on the board, but we can take confidence from playing well.”