Rotherham United loan signing Luke Hyam spent last season trying to get out of the Championship.
Now the 24-year-old midfielder is keen to ensure the Millers stay in English football’s second tier after joining their relegation scrap.
Second-from-bottom Rotherham have 12 points from their opening 17 games.
It is a far cry from last season, when Hyam played a key part in Ipswich Town’s campaign which saw Mick McCarthy’s Tractor Boys reach the play-offs.
Unfortunately, a bad knee injury meant Hyam’s campaign ended in January and he was forced to watch the season pan out on the sidelines.
After the injury flared again in pre-season, Hyam was checked in to have surgery, but he has been back in full training for a couple of weeks.
Now he hopes to make his debut for Rotherham against Bristol City today, and end a 10-month wait for competitive football.
“Mick McCarthy spoke to me a couple of weeks ago, I was doing my rehab, and he asked if I was interested in going out on loan, as my chances would be limited,” he told The Yorkshire Post.
“Ipswich have a lot of players in my position, and I have been out for a long time. I am looking forward to the challenge.
“Initially, we were just looking at locals team – Colchester and Southend – but it’s a great boost to keep playing Championship football. It will be a good experience for me.
“I have been out injured for 10 months and just want to get a few games under my belt.
“I had surgery on my knee and 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 Town team, but first I want to help out Rotherham. I am itching to play a few games.
“I know Danny Collins, Paul Green, Frazer Richardson – they were all at Ipswich when I was there. There is a lot of Championship experience here.
“I am nowhere near the finished article, but I would just like to help get Rotherham up the table.”
After only joining on Thursday, Hyam has been shocked at the quality in Neil Redfearn’s squad.
The Millers camp is buzzing after beating Leeds United at Elland Road last weekend and Hyam is eager to get started.
“I am surprised where Rotherham are at the moment,” he said. “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, get up and down the pitch, get tackles in.
“The two managers are very similar, both Yorkshiremen, and both are honest and genuine guys. That’s how I like a manager to be.
“Training has been good, the quality has been great.
“I am surprised with the quality we have in the team, considering where Rotherham are in the table.
“I walked into the changing room and the spirits are high, the players are really bubbly.
“You just need a couple of wins on the bounce. The Championship is a funny league, two or three wins on the bounce and it shoots you right up the table.
“I am 24 and still have a lot of learning to do. I want to help Rotherham out, but if they can help me, too, then it works both ways. Rotherham are in the Championship, which was a big pull for me. When I spoke to the manager, he was keen to get me down here, so I am chomping at the bit to get started.”
Hyam’s loan deal runs until January, but he sees his long-term future at Portman Road, a club where he has been since he was a boy.
“I came through the ranks at Ipswich, this is my first different club,” said Hyam, who made over 100 appearances for Ipswich, since his debut in 2010. “I have been at Ipswich since I was 11, and have never been on loan before.
“This will help my footballing career and life experience, too, with moving and living in a different place.
“It’s not just round the corner – it took me three hours to get here.
“It was a bit daunting walking in a new dressing room, walking into the unknown.
“Ipswich have loads of central midfielders, so there was no point sitting on the bench when I had an opportunity to play here. First, I have to get in the team.
“There’s so many games in December when injuries and suspensions can play a part.”
Redfearn was reunited with a player he knows from his Leeds United days yesterday, when he signed Simon Lenighan until the end of the season.
The 21-year-old came through the ranks at Elland Road and Redfearn said: “Simon was one of the group that got first-team exposure when I was at Leeds. He was in the group of Charlie Taylor, Alex Mowatt, Lewis Cook. He was captain of the 18s and 21s and he lost his way for whatever reason and found himself out of it.
“But before I got the Rotherham job, I knew Simon was out there and knew full well that if I got another chance in football he was someone that I would look at because potentially he is as good as the lads that are there and doing well at Leeds.
“We have got a top young player who is young enough to make an impact.
“He is someobody that I had in and around the first team at Leeds. He is more than capable and now he has an opportunity to go and earn something else.
“He is fit and available and capable of playing at Championship level in my opinion but he has got to get his around the newness of it, his team-mates and what we expect from him. But he’s got a head-start.”