Rotherham United v Aldershot Town: Law strives chance of playing at higher level

NICKY LAW would have been 90 minutes away from a return to the Premier League now but for the ambition of Rotherham United.

Law was wanted by Blackpool manager Ian Holloway in January but a proposed 150,000 deal was blocked by the Millers.

Four months down the line, the Seasiders are preparing for a date against Cardiff City at Wembley that could have propelled Law back into the big time.

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It is naturally tempting to reflect on 'what might have been' but Law is focused now on the present and the task of winning promotion to League One.

By his own admission, his form dipped at the time of the transfer talk but he also insists that he is now back to his best.

The Millers host Aldershot tonight in a League Two play-off semi-final second leg and, if they can hold onto a 1-0 lead from the first leg, will also be Wembley bound.

Yet for Law, who was just 18 years of age when he made his Premier League debut for Sheffield United four years ago, winning promotion is all that matters.

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"Every footballer wants to play as high as they possibly can," he said. "It's only a short career and when the chances come, you want to to take them.

"It was flattering to be linked with Blackpool and to know that teams higher up the leagues rate and admire you.

"Maybe, unconsciously, it affected my game but I always felt that I had my mind on the job.

"You look at them now, in the Championship play-off final, and they have done brilliant to get there but, if we get promoted here, we will also be on the way to where I want to be personally.

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"I do think I can play at a higher level but I will be delighted if I can go through the leagues with Rotherham. Everyone knows we have a chairman who is ambitious to get this club in the Championship."

Law, now 22, joined the Millers last summer after watching Sheffield United lose at Wembley in the Championship play-off final against Burnley.

Unable to command a place even on the bench, Law watched on from the stands as the Blades promotion dream fell apart.

"Losing at Wembley ruins your summer and starting again in the same league does knock your morale," he said.

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"I thought I was going to get to the play-off final with Bradford but we collapsed towards the end of last season, a bit like we have done here. Thankfully, we sneaked in and, now, if we can get to the play-off final, it would be the best way to win promotion.

"As a player, you are not going to play at Wembley a lot in your career but we now have a massive chance. It's a massive incentive for everyone. If we keep a clean sheet we are going to Wembley."

A late goal from striker Adam Le Fondre – another player with admirers at other clubs – secured the Miilers a 1-0 victory at Aldershot's Recreation Ground four days ago.

Overall, it was an impressive display by the Millers, who have now kept clean sheets in five of the last six games and suffered the only defeat in that sequence when resting players at Hereford on the final day of the season.

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"It was a very professional performance at the weekend. We would have taken 0-0 but the late goal was just the icing on the cake," he said. "Now we are the favourites and it's up to us to make sure we finish the job."

Rotherham lmanager Ronnie Moore is set to name an unchanged side but Aldershot will be without goalkeeper Jamie Young who was substituted after just 23 minutes of the first leg with a knee injury. Venezualan international Mikhael Jaimez-Ruiz will start in his place while Ben Harding could replace John Halls in midfield.

Last six games: Aldershot LDWWLL, Millers WDWDLW

Last time: Aldershot 0 Rotherham 1, Saturday May 15, 2010, play-off semi first leg.

Referee: F Graham (Essex).