MIKE POLLITT may have tasted the bitter pill of play-off woe for Rotherham United against Leyton Orient 15 years ago, but he is confident it will be a different story for his old club tomorrow.
The popular ex-Millers custodian, who provided distinguished service in two separate spells, was one of several former players who marvelled at their old side’s display in the League One play-off semi-final second-leg triumph over Preston, when they booked a Wembley berth in some style.
Pollitt, invited back as a guest along with ex-team-mates Alan Lee and Guy Branston, was in goal in two Division Three play-off semi-final games with Orient in May 1999 – the London club winning 4-2 on penalties after 210 minutes did not yield a goal.
The two combatants now lock horns at Wembley with the prize at stake being Championship football, which Pollitt feels the Millers are more than ready for, both on and off the pitch.
He said: “Facing Orient has brought a few memories back and I was talking about it to John Breckin and Ronnie Moore after the Preston match last week and we were all thinking about that Orient game.
“It’s funny how now we are talking about the club getting into the Championship by beating them.
“I really do fancy Rotherham to do it, fingers crossed.
“I can see they have some good players and I thought Pringle was fantastic against Preston and Revell up front is a good player.”
Pollitt admits the New York Stadium is palatial compared to the club’s old Millmoor home and says the Millers are simply a club transformed from his days there.
He added: “You looked around the place last Thursday and it was rocking. It’s just a completely different club now and they have moved on with the times and that’s down to the chairman, who has put his money where his mouth is and transformed it.
“Driving past Millmoor, it’s bizarre to see it still stood there and a bit sad. You just think, ‘Pull it down and move on’.
“I remember Ronnie’s pokey little office just above the Tivoli at Millmoor and can just see it now; the old fridge in the corner and a few cans of lager.
“A lot of teams used to come to Millmoor on a Tuesday night and it was pouring down with rain and they changed in cramped changing rooms and it gave us an edge. Against a lot of teams, we were one-nil up before the game and it worked in our favour.
“But it just got a bit tired in the end and the other teams got used to it. It’s a different club now.”