Claude Davis talks to www.themillers.co.uk...
Jamaican international Claude Davis admits it will be an emotional affair tonight when his Rotherham United side lock horns with his former club Preston North End with the prize of a Wembley play-off final berth at stake.
Davis made his name with the Lancastrians during a successful three-year stint from 2003-2006 which paved the way for big-money moves to Sheffield United and Derby County during an illustrious playing career which have seen the Kingston-born defender ply his trade in the higher echelons of the English game.
Davis was given a standing ovation by the Deepdale crowd as he made a second-half substitute appearance during Saturday's draw and his introduction helped give the Millers a ring of defensive steel while releasing Kari Arnason to move into a midfield berth due to Lee Frecklington's withdrawal because of injury.
With Davis slotting into the heart of Millers' rearguard with a minimum of fuss during the nerve-wracking final stages of Saturday's tie, the ex-Crawley defender admits he will be ready if called upon for the crunch NYS affair which will make-or-break his side's promotion dream.
"I said to the gaffer, whenever you need me, I'm ready to go and he gave me the chance to go out and do a job," he added.
"Forty-five minutes have gone and we have another 45 minutes to go and hopefully we can win.
"The best thing about our team is we are not just teammates, we are friends and we play for each other. We do it for each other and I'm sure this will be the same tonight."
With the tie on a knife-edge and little to separate the sides during their league campaign with three previous draws between the clubs, it would be a brave man to predict the outcome of Thursday's winner-takes-all encounter.
While forecasting another nail-biting Roses clash in-front of the televised cameras, Davis has made a rallying cry to the Millers' fans to shout his side to semi-final glory and pave the way for the experienced defender to make his first Wembley appearance.
"I've never played at Wembley. I got to the play-off final with Preston but that was at Cardiff, so it would be a great feeling to not just get there but win." he added.
"Preston are not a walkover, they have a good bunch of lads, a good team and a good manager, but hopefully we can do it.
"We have passionate fans, a beautiful fan base, who cheer us through thick and thin and hopefully they can make the difference for us and we can do it for them."