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League One

Steve Evans: This is work, not pleasure

22 May 2014

Rotherham United manager Steve Evans has reminded his players they are not going to Wembley for a day out on Sunday.

Evans takes his side to the capital to contest the League 1 Play-Off Final with Leyton Orient, with the chance to play Championship football next season at stake.

It was been a magnificent campaign for the Millers following promotion from League Two last year and victory over Orient would secure a first return to the second tier in 10 years.

Both clubs are taking over 20,000 fans to the national stadium for what is sure to be their grandest spectacle of the season, but Evans insists his side will treat it like any other game.

"The prize is the biggest that I have had on offer," he said. "The chance to manage at the Championship is something I would relish and any manager that gets the opportunity to lead a team out of Wembley should be proud.

"But as much as we are looking forward to it I keep reminding my players we are not going for a day out.

"We are going to the capital, it's almost a home game for Orient and an away one for us, but we are going there to win a football match.

"The play-offs is about winning because nobody remembers the team who hasn't won, so the focus is on winning the match."

The Millers' season has been so good that had they accrued the same points in League One last year they would have coasted to the title, with only the relentless form of Wolves and Brentford denying them a top-two spot.

Orient have had a similarly good season, leading the way for much of it, and Evans, keen to build a siege mentality, has them as favourites.

"When we got out of League Two, a lot of people thought we would be relegated, but I always retained the great belief in the squad of players and their desire to win football matches," he added.

"We need our very best performance of the season to win on Sunday if we are going to beat Leyton Orient.

"Both teams are so evenly matched, we achieved a points total that would have seen us promoted automatically in seven of the last nine years in this division.

"I have said Leyton Orient will be favourites, Russell Slade has said we are favourites. Many neutrals would say there is not a lot in it.

"They led the table for seven or eight months in the season, many people thought they wouldn't be caught. They finished the season in terrific form so I think they are the favourites but I would accept that this is the one play-off final that could go either way."

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