ROTHERHAM UNITED: Midfield will see a right royal battle

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IT’S building up to a battle royale in midfield tonight when Rotherham United make their first ever visit to Fleetwood Town’s Highbury Stadium.

Wearing the red with white sleeves (that will be Fleetwood not the Millers) will be former Rangers and Scotland captain Barry Ferguson.

In the yellow and black away strip will be Rotherham’s own international, Iceland’s Kari Arnason not to mention the man who has made such an impact since stepping down from The Championship, Lee Frecklington.

The signing of Ferguson by the League Two newcomers on Friday certainly raised lots of eyebrows and also served as a statement of intent for the little club on the Fylde coast seven miles beyond Blackpool.

They were in the North West Counties League as recently as 2005 but a big cash injection has seen them on an upward spiral of success with the fifth promotion taking them into the league last May.

They had been helped by the scoring exploits of one-time Stocksbridge Park Steels player Jamie Vardy and the £1million plus fee they secured from Leicester in the summer has been helping fund their bid for another promotion.

Ferguson is on loan at Fleetwood until the end of December and, now 34, says he decided the chance of regular first team football was preferable to being used on a rotation basis at Blackpool.

“He has been an inspirational player during his career, a top talent, and was a wonderful servant for Rangers and for Scotland and I’ve cheered him for my country many times,” said Millers manager Steve Evans.

“I don’t know how Fleetwood have got him but it is a great piece of business and we look forward to testing ourselves against him and, with our midfield, it should be quite a contest.”

Fleetwood will also field former Barnsley striker John Parkin who scored two penalties in their 3-0 FA Cup win over Bromley.

However, on loan Barnsley defender Rob Edwards is a doubt after suffering a hamstring strain allowing skipper Steve McNulty to return to action during Saturday’s game.