TWO of Rotherham United’s strikers have been involved in some famous giant killings.
Daniel Nardiello, the Millers top goal-scorer with 10 goals in 17 matches, and Kayode Odejayi were part of the Barnsley team who eliminated Liverpool and Chelsea from the FA Cup four and a half years ago. The Reds eventually bowed out of the tournament, losing narrowly 1-0 to Cardiff at Wembley in the semi-finals of the tournament.
“It was a fantastic run,” Nardiello told The Star. “People wouldn’t even dream of that happening.
“We won at Anfield, beat Chelsea at home and were unlucky to lose to Cardiff. It would have been nice to have made the final but it wasn’t to be.”
Rotherham are hoping to cause an upset of their own tomorrow in Britain’s oldest cup competition when Steve Evans charges welcome Notts County to the New York Stadium. A place in the third round awaits the winner and, potentially, a glamour tie with one of English football’s big boys.
It might not whet the appetite or be quite as daunting as facing Liverpool or Chelsea but League One promotion contenders County are a force to be reckoned with on their travels. The Magpies have not lost away from home in 20 matches in all competitions, a run dating back to mid-February.
Nardiello, who is expected to spearhead the Millers attack, said: “You never know in the cup. Strange things do happen as Barnsley proved.
“We have got to go into the game believing we can win. We will give it our all and hopefully we can get through and get a big team.
“We want to keep winning games. The league is our main ambition this season. I don’t think anyone really fancies Rotherham to win the FA Cup. But it is always nice to have a little run because it breeds confidence in the team.”
Rotherham demonstrated their character and fighting spirit in midweek as they fought back from a goal behind to beat Accrington Stanley in the club’s game hand. Nardiello struck twice either side of the interval to take his tally to 10 goals in 17 appearances, leaving the Millers just one point adrift of the automatic promotion placings.
County, unbeaten in five matches, occupy sixth position in the division above - five points behind the top two Tranmere Rovers and Doncaster Rovers.
County goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski said: “We’re on a good run and if we keep playing like we are I’m sure the results will keep coming and we will end up in the Championship.”