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Rotherham United aiming to maintain Yorkshire bragging rights

8 April 2014

By Tony Leighton

It's a double derby week for Rotherham United as Steve Evans' team look to boost their promotion hopes by continuing a season-long run of success against Yorkshire rivals in both Sky Bet League 1 and knock-out competitions.

On Tuesday evening the Millers make the short journey to Sheffield United, who on Sunday have a Wembley FA Cup semi-final, and then three nights later they entertain Bradford City.

Both opponents were beaten in the reverse league fixtures earlier in the campaign, while Bradford were also FA Cup first round victims.

Add to those results a joyously received Capital One Cup win against Championship side Sheffield Wednesday and a Johnstone's Paint Trophy victory over League 2 York City, and that's five derby wins out of five Evans' men.

Now the Millers, whose tremendous current 16-match unbeaten run has seen them guarantee themselves a Play-Off place, are aiming to make it seven wins from seven and perhaps push Brentford for an automatic promotion spot.

They are six points behind the second in the table Bees and Evans, ahead of his side's meeting with the Blades, said: "We know we can only try and win as many games as we can and then look towards Brentford and see what they do.

"I think that everyone will accept that [leaders by six points] Wolves are going to be the champions, but Brentford have a series of tough matches - as we have, starting by going to Bramall Lane.

"That will make it tough for us to keep within six points of them but we have a will, a fight and a spirit that will mean we will go right to the end.

"My philosophy is to attack and try to win games, and we won't change that because it's a local derby at Sheffield United.

"It's a fantastic achievement, getting to the FA Cup semi-final and we really do hope they succeed, but perhaps they would have preferred not having a full-blooded local derby just a few days before going to Wembley.

"We won't sit back, that's not our way, we'll attack and we'll be in their faces. I'm told we've not won at Bramall Lane since 1980 and that we've usually lost on the occasions since, so it would be nice to turn things around."

If the Millers can turn things around to complete the double over United and then make it three League and Cup wins against Bradford, the still outside chance of snatching an automatic promotion place may be a little closer.

Evans added: "It's a wonderful achievement to have made the Play-Offs. Many people thought we might manage to get into mid-table, and there were plenty who reckoned that we'd struggle.

"We've enjoyed proving people wrong. All we want to do now is to keep picking up as many points as we can and hope that others slip up."

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