When the Millers take to the field at The Den tomorrow, the clash with Millwall will have added significance for one man in the Rotherham United camp.
Having grown up in Romford, Freddie Ladapo lived just under 20 miles away from the Lions spiritual home and he admits it’s always a special occasion whenever he returns to play in London.
Millwall have been beaten just four times on home soil this season and Ladapo knows that the team will have to perform to the best of their abilities, in order to give themselves the best possible chance of achieving a result.
But as ever, it is a challenge the striker is relishing, along with the rest of the squad.
“We’re going to have to step up when we got to Millwall. It is going to be a battle and they are going to make it hard for us. We will have to play to our maximum and if we do that, hopefully we can get a good result," he told www.themillers.co.uk.
“For me, it is always a big thing to go back to London. I enjoy playing in the place where I am from and obviously I’ve had time with Crystal Palace too.
“I have friends who have played for these teams and I’ve played against them myself. When I was at Plymouth, I played at The Den and I scored. All my family and friends were there and it was special. Hopefully I can have another great moment like that and it can lead to the team getting a great result.”
Paul Warne’s side are back in league action for the first time in under two weeks, with the international break temporarily pausing the Sky Bet Championship schedule.
The Millers have used this time to prepare the players ahead of what will be a hectic fixture list, with 12 games on the calendar, starting tomorrow and ending against Cardiff City on 8th May.
Ladapo insists that getting the time to put in the work on the training ground has put the team in great fettle heading into the run-in.
“It is wonderful to be back, we spent the international break working on a few things which I think will really benefit us.
“Usually during the international break, most times you’d have people away and some clubs would maybe take a relaxed approach, that wasn’t the case with us.
“The coaching staff really pushed us and it was great to make up for all the lost time that we’ve missed through the games that were called off and the time we had away from the training ground because of covid.
“I think the matches will take care of themselves and the best preparation will be key to getting the most favourable results.
“Saying we’ve got 12 cup finals is a little cliched, but we have 12 very important games and ones we are determined to do our best in, starting tomorrow at Millwall.”
The 28-year-old had scored two goals in his last three games prior to the international break. Both, were in fact screamers, with the famous strike against the Owls as well as an arguably even better effort against Watford.
Known for his efficiency in poaching goals inside the penalty box, Ladapo is happy that he has added a new variation to his game and is hoping it can continue.
“Knowing the kind of player I am, I’m an in the box kind of striker and a lot of my goals come from my movement in the box and capitalising on opportunities.
“I wanted to find another way to make an impact on the game and add something else to my locker. I believe in my ability and I’m sure the manager and the players do as well.
“You know how happy I am just to score, there’s no greater feeling than to score a goal. It’s all about sticking the ball in the net and seeing your name as one of the goal scorers and helping the team secure results.”