Rotherham United: Why New York Stadium could hold the key in play-offs

The magic of AESSEAL New York Stadium could give Rotherham United the play-off edge as they bid to reach Wembley for the second time in four years, believes manager Paul Warne.

Tuesday, 24th April 2018, 5:08 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th April 2018, 5:21 pm
Paul Warne

The Millers boss is happy to back his League One side against anybody over two matches if they hit top form.

And, with the second leg of the play-off semi-final set to be on home turf, a midweek clash at New York - famed for its nights under the lights - could be the deciding factor.

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Rotherham are poised to end the season in fourth spot, giving them an away date against the fifth-placed team on Saturday May May 12 (kick-off 12.30pm), followed by the return fixture on Wednesday May 16 (7.45pm).

“If we did finish fourth, it’s obviously an advantage because our second game would be at home,” Warne said. “It’s an advantage because it’s pretty usual in every league in the world that the home form is better than the away form.

“If we have a home game here at night with the floodlights on, we’re normally pretty good. I would like to finish fourth for that reason and also because finishing as high as you can gives the lads confidence.”

The play-off final, with a berth in the Championship at stake, takes place on Sunday May 27 at Wembley.

The Millers, who guaranteed their top-six slot by beating Bristol Rovers last Saturday, were last there in May 2014 when they beat Leyton Orient in a penalty shoot-out to win promotion and begin a three-year stay in the second tier.

“I’m confident in my group,” Warne added. “If they can perform to their level, we’ll have a right chance against anyone over two games.

“It’s cup football really. You could be the best team over the two games. It doesn’t mean you’re going to win the tie and get through.

“I hope that if we don’t go through it’s because the other team is better and not that we were unlucky.”

Rotherham, with three wins and a draw in their last four outings, are at Plymouth Argyle on Saturday before rounding off their regular season at home to Blackpool the following week.