STEVE PARKIN accepts that Bradford City’s coaching staff are never likely to be bosom buddies with their Rotherham United counterparts.
The Bantams’ assistant and manager Phil Parkinson had have a few run-ins with the Millers’ bench over recent years, with Parkin sent to the stands in the pair’s promotion clash at Valley Parade last April.
Millers boss Steve Evans is clearly a figure many Bradford fans love to hate, and he and his assistant Paul Raynor are unlikely to be on either Parkinson’s or Parkin’s Christmas card list.
But that aside, Parkin is full of respect for the achievements of Rotherham in 2013-14 with the Millers well placed to end their nine-year Championship exile.
He said: “We don’t get on (as coaching staff) but they’re no different to us really; they want to win and that’s all that matters.
“My hand will be there to be shaken afterwards – it’s whether or not they want to.
“The important thing is that we’re representing our division. We’ve got two really good clubs who have come a long way in the last 18 months.
“The game will be a good spectacle for people. We were on the telly plenty of times last year and it’s always nice.
“We’ve got a lot of respect for Rotherham as a team and a club. They got promoted and look like they are going to be right in the top part again. They’ve had a terrific season.”
Rotherham hold the Indian sign over their West Yorkshire neighbours, winning their last six outings, including last five without conceding a goal.
But Parkin said: “I’m not a massive believer in all that. I believe that you’ve got to play well enough to win matches and we’ve not done that – certainly at their ground.
Aaron Mclean (hamstring) is struggling, and James Hanson sidelined. Nathan Doyle could return.