Date: 14th September 2017 at 11:02am
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Last season that heading would have been very apt against the Millers, at best they were just imaginary on the pitch for everyone that went to a Rotherham game, supporters and opposition alike. This season after a very slow start of a single win and 3 losses in the league, the Millers seem to be picking up some very good form and heading to the right end of the table. 2016/17 proved to be a very dismal year for the South Yorkshire club with only 5 wins throughout the entire season in all competitions from 48 games of which 39 they lost. With 2 points on the road relegation felt like it was confirmed before August had started and a measly 23 points was the reward for the faithful having to endure a torrid time. The season before, 2015/16 wasn’t much better just escaping relegation finishing 1 place ahead of Charlton, the same exact place the Millers finished the season before in 2014/15 after a 3 point deduction. So it was no surprise of a difficult start for Rotherham.

We can grind it out.
Back at home, we have had a very tough start to 2017/18, Blackburn and Blackpool at home and teams away such as Gillingham, Walsall, Peterborough and Oxford away, not something anyone would choose to start their season with, but we have come through it. After 4 games on the road in the last 5 matches we now have the prospect of 3 ties at home in the next 4 fixtures, and after the tough test McCall and the squad have stood up to and passed, we have the comforts of home once again, making preparation a lot easier for match day. The Bantams have only lost once in our last 7 games which happened to be the only game we haven’t scored in this season. One question about Rotherham is of the past few seasons, we’ve been through it this millennia for quite a few seasons, that losing mentality get’s into the club, the Millers have had a poor 3 seasons and with a poor start in the opening games, can we remind them of recent seasons?

The lights are on but nobody is home
City are back at home, but Rotherham United are a bit of a bogey team, and even though it’s been a tough few seasons, United are a recent Championship club that are fighting to get back to a division they were starting to get accustomed to. Winning their last 3 games, their last outing was a 5-1 mauling of Walsall so confidence will be very high. United fans will travel in numbers not far up the M1 and won’t see Valley Parade as a chore to get to. With joint leading scorer in the division, Ipswich Town loanee, Kieffer Moore has scored 6 so far this season and will want to add to his tally. With City struggling to keep a clean sheet, Rotherham will fancy providing themselves with chances and Moore will relish the chance of showing his parent club what he can do in front of a massive crowd.

Head to head and form
I’ve mentioned previously, I hate South Yorkshire clubs, well I don’t, I just hate playing them.

56 games
United wins 36
City wins 27
Draws 13

City have won once in the last 9 meets between the 2 sides compared to United’s 6. The last 3 seasons we have met, the Millers have registered both a home and an away win each season thanks to an FA Cup game back in 2013. The last time City won was a 2-1 win at Valley Parade thanks to Lewis Hunt and teenager Tom Adeyemi with a last minute winner. Marcus Marshall made the score in the first half back in March 2011 providing Peter Jackson his first win as City manager and was the last game a Ronnie Moore Rotherham United got onto the score board.

Boz’s match verdict: Draw

5 fun facts

1. Current players to play for both Bradford City and Rotherham United are Paul Taylor and Jamie Proctor. Taylor had a loan spell back between Aug 2014-Dec 14 from Ipswich Town making 17 league appearances, 13 from the off failing to score a single goal. Proctor was highly rated by Phil Parkinson whilst at City, this summer he left the former Bantams boss at Bolton and decided to join the Millers. It took Proctor just over half an hour to score on his home debut, but has failed to add to that tally in his 6 games so far. Proctor has damaged his cruciate ligament and chances are won’t play against this season already missing the last 3 games.

2. City might have a horrible record against Rotherham, but under McCall’s first spell as manager, City played Rotherham United 5 times winning 3 of those games and drawing one, which included the double back in 2008/09. This was the last time we have managed the double over the Millers.

3. The late Chris Mitchell who tragically died last year scored his only City goal against Rotherham United back in November 2011 at Valley Parade. This happened to be his only goal in the English game but a great crowd of 10551 supporters witnessed his first half leveller in the 4th division. Mitchell has the honour of scoring the last City goal in open play against the Millers. Michael Flynn scored a last minute penalty the very same game.

4. Bradford City’s largest ever win in any competition was way back in August 1928 in Division 3 (North), a resounding 11-1 victory at Valley Parade. This result has also provided Rotherham United their record largest defeat in any competition.

5. If you like coincidences, the fixture with Rotherham will be played on the 16th September 2017, the very last time Stuart McCall faced the Millers as a player was again a home tie, he helped Sheffield United to a 5-0 thrashing at Bramall Lane. The date was 16th September 2003. Is that an omen? Is there a pattern in the year? 20-03 is 17, 20-17 is 03.

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