Rotherham United manager Neil Redfearn believes that going on a run in the FA Cup could benefit his side’s league campaign.
The Millers go into today’s third round match at Leeds 21st in the Championship after a good run of form over Christmas.
Two important victories in matches against Hull City and Bolton Wanderers lifted Rotherham out of the relegation zone.
However, those wins were followed by two defeats on the spin in the league – against Fulham and Preston away from home – and that could have encouraged Redfearn to prioritise the league ahead of England’s most prestigious cup competition.
However, personal experience tells the Millers chief that a good showing in the cup can have benefits for a league campaign.
He said: “We had a good cup run at Barnsley. We got to the quarter-finals and it helped our league form in the Premier League. It can definitely help you. I have had good experiences in the FA Cup. I was fortunate enough to play in an FA Cup semi-final for Oldham against Manchester United, and I’ve been in the quarter-finals, too.
“I know of the magnitude of it and what it means. It only means nothing when it’s the third round. If you get to the semi-final, it means something.
“One of the first games we played in the Premier League at Barnsley was against Manchester United. They beat us 6-0 at Old Trafford and it could have been 10. All the right noises were made – we were a lovely side that played nice football and deserved to stay up.
“Then we knocked them out of the FA Cup and the pitch was rubbish, the ball was square, it was like music to our ears.
“We were 3-1 up and it got back to 3-2, and it was a bit hairy on the night, but we knocked them out.
“That cup run helped us, there is no doubt about it.”