NEIL REDFEARN is challenging Rotherham United to end their FA Cup pain – and enhance their Championship prospects in the process.
The Millers will visit Elland Road for the second time in under two months in an all-Yorkshire third-round derby at Redfearn’s former club Leeds United on the weekend of January 9-10.
All told, Rotherham have not reached round four of the competition since 2001-02, when they were catapulted into the national spotlight following a 2-1 win over top-flight Southampton at their old Millmoor home.
Since then, the Millers have endured a spate of torrid cup episodes, losing to the likes of Forest Green and Aldershot and infamously missing out on a lucrative FA Cup fourth-round date with Manchester United in 2004 after a replay loss to Northampton Town.
Redfearn is now plotting to vanquish an unlucky 13 years of hurt at his old club’s expense, with their 1-0 win at Leeds on November 21 providing his side with a psychological boost ahead of their New Year re-run.
Redfearn said: “Ideally for the FA Cup you want a home draw, but it is a great tie for us against one of the biggest clubs in the country.
“It is a good draw for us, it will create some publicity but we are fully focused on the games we have before the cup tie.
“We have some really big games coming up before the third round, but when it does come round it is a game that we can look forward to and be confident about.”
Meanwhile, Sheffield Wednesday striker Lucas Joao has beaten off competition from Leeds midfielder Alex Mowatt to be named as the PFA Championship fans player of the month for November.
York City goalkeeping coach Andy Leaning, 52, has left the club, his second spell on the coaching staff.