LEE Williamson is determined to make the most of his second chance as he bids to earn a Premier League return six years after his first taste of the top flight.
The 31-year-old midfielder could make his Rovers’ bow in this evening’s Championship clash at Brighton as he looks to kick-start an injury-plagued career.
Williamson, who signed as a free agent last week, made five appearances for Watford in the Premier League in 2007 after signing from Rotherham, before being relegated.
He has since played for Sheffield United, where he suffered problems with his back, and most recently Portsmouth and is now eyeing a second Premier League push.
Boss Michael Appleton is continuing his efforts to add to his squad in the loan market ahead of this evening’s game, with Reading defender Kaspars Gorkss a target.
Wolves are understood to be serious competitors for his signature as Appleton’s efforts in the market continue to be frustrated.
Meanwhile, Williamson said: “It is not nice for any player to drop down the leagues, whether that be through injuries or relegations.
“The main thing is to get back up as fast as you can.
“The longer you stay out of the top leagues the harder it is going to get.
“The first time I got to the Premier League was with Watford and then after that I signed for Sheffield United and had two years hampered with injuries. Then the third season I played and we got relegated.”
That meant Williamson suddenly found himself in League One but he is excited to now be back at Championship level.
He said: “It is nice to be back and I can’t wait to get playing. It is a really good squad, you put it up against any other squad in the Championship and you fancy them.
“It is probably not a massive squad but the players are very good.
“I am definitely looking forward to it. This is a great club to play for, a very big club and our ambition now is to get back in the Premier League and get the last 12 months out of the way and get back where the club belong.”
Having already added Williamson and DJ Campbell to his squad last week, Appleton is eyeing three or four more new faces in the next few days.
With Gorkss a defensive target and former Rover David Bentley also understood to be on the wish-list, Appleton is stressing the importance of adding ‘quality’ competition.
The Rovers boss said: “There is a process that has to be put in place, which involves identifying the player, then whether we are able to get the deal done in terms of what players’ salaries are, whether the club will let them out, what structure is in the deal, whether there is a call back.
“You have to get permission to make sure you can do the deal. Discussions with Derek Shaw and Paul Agnew and the owners have to take place at some point. If we don’t get the green light we can’t do the deal.
“The squad we have is potentially good enough to get back in the Premier League, with a few additions. I would like to think it is a football club now where we want to kick on.
“With football, things can happen very, very quickly. You can sign players on loan up until three hours before kick off. I think from our point of view it is a must, we need cover defensively and in the wide areas as well, where we could do with a bit more pace.”