Richard Wood talks to www.themillers.co.uk...
Richard Wood expects the Millers to thrive in the cauldron of a South Yorkshire derby against Sheffield Wednesday this weekend.
The former Owls favourite is set to return to his former stomping ground as the Millers seek to avenge their defeat to Wednesday at AESSEAL New York Stadium earlier in the campaign.
With a bumper crowd expected at Hillsborough, which is set to include a healthy travelling support, the hard nosed central defender is looking forward to the red hot derby day atmosphere.
“The atmosphere will be special,” Wood told www.themillers.co.uk
“I have always enjoyed the big atmospheres in derby games, and even though as an ex-Wednesday player I might get some stick, it is an environment I am relishing.
"Playing in front of a big crowd with a lively atmosphere will spur us on I am sure. I will be up for the game and whilst it will great to hear both sets of fans, it is important to block out as much as possible as we concentrate on the game.”
Wood began his professional career in S6 after graduating through Wednesday’s Academy structure, and made his professional bow in 2003.
He would go on to make close to 200 appearances for the Owls which included a promotion to The Championship after play-off final success in Cardiff.
Since coming back to South Yorkshire in 2014, Wood has taken time to establish himself in the Millers back four resulting in a loan spell at Chesterfield earlier in the season.
He was given his chance at the start of last month against Bolton, and has held onto his starting berth with a string of consistent displays under new manager Neil Warnock.
Now he has his attention firmly on his old employers as he looks to lead the Millers to back-to-back victories after the recent 2-1 success over Brentford.
“I always look forward to going back to my former clubs,” admitted the 30-year-old.
“I have only been back to Hillsborough once and that was with Charlton, so if selected it is a game that I am really looking forward to.
“I spent most of my career with Sheffield Wednesday, played a lot of games and had some good times.”
Wood missed out on a return to Hillsborough last season after he was only named on the bench in a goalless draw.
He is hopeful that he will get his chance this weekend against a team that he explains will always hold special memories following a seven-year stint as a pro.
“I came through the youth ranks and was given an opportunity at a young age, so I will always be grateful,” Wood said.
“If I am in the team it will be the first time I have been involved in a Rotherham v Sheffield Wednesday derby.
“I have been on the bench before and I know at both grounds there has been a great atmosphere. I know bragging rights are at stake for the supporters, there will be people going into work on Monday morning, so I am hoping it will be the Rotherham fans who will have the smiles on their faces.”