THE last time Doncaster Rovers visited Elland Road back in their 2007-08 League One campaign it proved to be an historic occasion.
Brian Stock scored the only goal of the game to give Rovers their first ever win at Elland Road.
“It was a magnificent occasion, made extra special by the atmosphere there, and the fact that we came away 1-0 winners.” said Rovers No Richard O’Kelly.
The West Yorkshire club avenged that defeat with a 1-0 victory of their own in the return at the Keepmoat Stadium, but Rovers won the all-important third meeting of the two clubs that season at Wembley in the League One Promotion Play-Off final.
The once-mighty Leeds side had to spend two more seasons in the third tier of English football before returning to the Championship this season. But they have made up for lost time and are currently holding down a play-off spot.
“I don’t think that they’ve over achieved this season, “ said O’Kelly. “They lost Jermaine Beckford at the end of last season but they’ve added a lot of players to the squad and added a lot of quality.
“You look across the back line and the players they’ve got there - George McCartney on loan from Sunderland being one. You look at the players they’ve added to the midfield area where they’ve also got Johnny Howson a player I’ve always admired and, who if he ever became available on a free, you’d take him. Up front they’ve got the likes of Becchio, who is always going to be a threat, as are the two wide men Robert Snodgrass and Max Gradel.”
The pacy Ivory Coast-born winger has proved one of the success stories at Elland Road this season.
Neil Kilkenny helps provide the flair and vision in midfield with Bradley Johnson, available again after serving a one-match ban, providing the ‘muscle’.
Rovers will go into tomorrow’s game looking to have turned the corner after halting a run of defeats with a three-match unbeaten run.
“I think the last few games have certainly helped in that respect; we are pushing onwards and upward, “said O’Kelly.
Leeds, who had drawn their previous two home games against Norwich and Barnsley, lost for the first time in nine league games away at Swansea last weekend.
They produced one of the surprise results of the FA Cup third round ties when holding Premiership giants Arsenal to a 1-1 away draw.