THOUGHTS of Sheffield United and Steel City derbies will be on Darius Henderson’s mind when he runs out with Millwall at Hillsborough tomorrow.
The former Blades striker scored in United’s 3-2 win against the Owls in September, 2009, and played in the 1-1 Hillsborough draw between the sides the following April.
He still keeps in touch with Bramall Lane player Nick Montgomery and coach Chris Morgan.
But uppermost in his thoughts will be doing his stuff for Millwall again after netting their winner in a 2-1 victory at Peterborough in midweek.
He also scored 19 goals in 28 starts for the Lions last season.
The 30-year-old says he is not sure what sort of reception he will receive tomorrow: “I will not look upon it as anything special,” he said.
“I will just be looking forward to going up there to do my job.
“Hopefully, that means picking up a goal.
“It is always a fantastic atmosphere at Hillsborough. All the boys are looking forward to it - it is a great arena to play at.
“I have played in two Sheffield derbies - I scored the second in that 3-2 win at Bramall Lane.
“Then I played in a 1-1 draw at Hillsborough. It was in that game that I picked up the torn hamstring which kept me out injured for 11 months - so I would like to go there and get through the game without any injuries after that last one.
“I still keep in touch with Nick Montgomery and Chris Morgan, who has been a coach since his retirement as a player at Bramall Lane.
“They are fantastic lads at the club and they will be on my mind when I go out on to the pitch at Hillsborough.”
Henderson left Bramall Lane in the summer of last year. He hit 20 league goals for United in 61 starts and 11 appearances as a sub after joining them from Watford in 2008.
This season he has been partnering former Wolves striker Andy Keogh up front.
“I have never felt better in my whole career,” he said. “I am the healthiest I have ever been in 14 years in the game. So it is a good time to be going back there.
“It was fantastic to grab the winner on Tuesday at Peterborough. It was one of those moments when things fall into place and we did well. I have been working hard and hope it helps the team.
“Hopefully, with more performances like that, I can help us to pick up points and continue this form.
“If the strikers get goals, that is great, but that is what we are there for. And, luckily for us, I managed to get the winner. But I feel the important thing is not me scoring but us getting victories.”
“I was talking to Andy Keogh about our strike partnership the day before the Peterborough game.
“We are picking up each other’s traits and getting an understanding going. That can only benefit the team. It certainly seemed to work on Tuesday. The longer we play together, the better that communication will get, like in any partnership.”
Millwall won on Tuesday after trailing to a George Boyd goal. New signing Scott Malone equalised.
The Lions lost 2-0 at home to Blackpool last Saturday.
Manager Kenny Jackett said: “We had a disappointing start but it was ideal to have the opportunity to put things right a few days later and that is exactly what we did. This should provide belief that we can have a good season.”