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Wow the Millers love New York

24 August 2012

By Tony Leighton

After four years of hosting games at Sheffield's Don Valley Stadium, Rotherham United are back on their own patch, contesting their latest npower League 2 campaign at the newly built and highly impressive New York Stadium.

The £20million ground is already proving a boon to the Millers, whose gate of 11,441 for their first home fixture - a mightily cheered 3-0 win against Burton Albion - was more than three times the average attendance during their time in Sheffield.

The crowd was also comfortably the highest in League 2 on the opening day of the season, when it was surpassed by only two League 1 attendances - at Portsmouth and Sheffield United - and was bigger than Millwall's Championship gate.

It's no wonder that manager Steve Evans, in his first full season at the Rotherham helm after being appointed in April, is bubbling with excitement about the stadium and what it can eventually mean to the club and everyone involved with it.

The former Crawley Town boss told football-league.co.uk: "These are great times at Rotherham United and long may they continue at this fantastic new stadium, a top Championship facility in my view let alone a brilliant setting for League 2 football.

"The stadium has a real 'wow' factor about it, which has been abundantly clear with the crowds we got in pre-season and then at our first League game. The fans deserved a new ground after the last four years and it's just great for the town as well."

Evans will be hoping to follow up his assertion that the New York Stadium is "a top Championship facility' by leading the Millers step-by-step up through Leagues 2 and 1 to regain the Championship place that they lost through relegation in 2005.

It's a challenge the tough Glaswegian will take on with relish, although he admitted: "I won't say that we'll get up to the Championship in the next couple of years because it probably won't happen - but getting up there is certainly the eventual aim.

"We've got a fabulous new stadium, but in football you tend to be where you deserve to be on the pitch and at this moment in time we deserve to be in League 2. We finished 10th in the table last season and that's probably where we deserved to finish.

"It could be even tougher this season with the quality of clubs in the League and the players that some of them have been signing. But we'll definitely be trying to put a promotion challenge together and getting up to League 1 is the aim."

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