BLAKCBURN Rovers manager Michael Appleton is backing new signing Lee Williamson to have an impact at Ewood Park, claiming the midfielder has a point to prove.

Former Sheffield United man Williamson arrives at Rovers after spending the past month as a free agent, following his release from Portsmouth, and the 30-year-old has signed a deal until the summer of 2014.

And despite spending the last thre years in League One, Appleton is confident Williamson can handle the step-up after a back injury hampered a promising start to his career at then top-flight Watford.

“I would like to think the players I bring into this club have got a point to prove,” said Appleton. “I want to bring players in who are really hungry to be successful. “Lee had a terrible time with his back and all sorts of problems after the operation. He knows what it is like to be down in the dumps and feel not too clever about himself.

“He has an opportunity to come to a fantastic club and prove what a good player he is.”

Williamson, who also helped Preston North End secure a Championship play-off spot back in 2009, will miss the game against Ipswich this afternoon through illness, but Appleton is confident he can add depth in a number of positions once he recovers.

“Lee is someone who can play in a lot of positions. His favourite position is centre midfield, he was very successful playing on the right for Sheffield United last season, and he scored 14 goals from there.”

“He also can play in either full-back position. He has bags of energy, very aggressive. I think he will surprise a few people.”