Rotherham United boss Paul Warne on a 'good omen' ahead of Luton game

BACK in Rotherham United’s famous 2000-01 promotion campaign, a famous late-season night at Luton Town’s Kenilworth Road home went down in Millers’ folklore.
Paul Warne.Paul Warne.
Paul Warne.

Just over two decades on from that epic evening, manager Paul Warne - part of the side who went up to the second tier at the end of that feted season - is hoping for another special night in Bedfordshire tonight.

It was on April 24, 2001 that Rotherham headed to Luton on a huge occasion for both sides at opposite ends of the old Division Two table.

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Ronnie Moore’s Millers were fighting it out for promotion to the second tier for the first time in 18 years, while the Hatters were battling to avoid going down.

In the event, it was the Millers who prevailed to move back into the second automatic promotion slot with just two games remaining courtesy of a precious 1-0 success and they went onto clinch promotion in their next game thanks to an Alan Lee-inspired last-gasp victory over Brentford.

The hero of the hour at Luton was Chris Sedgwick, who swept home a cross from top-scorer Mark Robins for a single-goal triumph which saw the hosts relegated to the basement division for the first time in 33 years.

The Millers’ season is on a knife-edge for different reasons tonight, with Warne’s side mindful that victory will move them out of the relegation zone on goal difference above Derby County ahead of a huge final day of action on Saturday.

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Rotherham visit Cardiff City, while Derby play second-from-bottom Sheffield Wednesday.

On the historic significance of tonight’s fixture, Warne said: “Funnily enough, I did not play in that game. I don't know if I was suspended or had an injury, but Sedgy played instead of me. I wanted us to win, but did not really want Sedgy to have a great game!.

“Luckily, Ronnie put me back in for the next game..

“That Luton game was a Tuesday night as well..I remember sitting there with my Sedgy ‘voodoo doll’ and he would not mind, he'd have done the same to me.

“Maybe it is a good omen for us going there.”

Whatever transpires this evening, the Millers’ fates will go to a final day.

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They are currently level on points with Wednesday (-21) and Wycombe (-33), but have a better goal difference (-16) ahead of their game in hand this evening.

As it stands, they also have a better goal difference than Derby (-22), with the Rams holding a three-point advantage in the table ahead of kick-off tonight.

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