Leam Richardson is a lifelong Leeds United fan. But only one team matter to the Rotherham United boss today

THIS afternoon, Leam Richardson will be sitting in the away dugout at Elland Road.

It wasn't always that way for Rotherham United's head coach. His seat of choice used to be in the Don Revie North Stand.

Richardson was brought up in West Yorkshire and has been a Leeds United supporter all his life, spending his boyhood years as a season-ticket-holder along with members of his family.

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“I didn’t live too far from the stadium and have been there many times as a fan, player and coach," he said.

“I used to sit in the Kop with my brothers and dad and enjoy it from there. It was the time of Howard Wilkinson, Vinny Jones, David Batty, Gary Speed and Gary McAllister.

“I’ve seen a few promotions and highs and lows, like many Leeds fans have.”

Avoiding relegation rather than going for promotion is on his mind as he hopes to see his bottom-placed side pull off a Championship shock today against opponents who were in the Premier League last season and are pushing for an instant return.

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Rotherham are up against it but the Millers boss knows that upsets are possible, having won on both of his last two visits to his former haunt when he was coach of Wigan Athletic.

In fact, the ten-man Latics' 2-1 victory on Good Friday in 2019 played a part in relegating Paul Warne's Millers who were losing out 4-3 at Swansea City on the same second-tier day that their fellow strugglers - who went on to stay up - were holding out for a famous triumph.

“I have been quite successful there and, fingers crossed, we can repeat that,” said Richardson whose family are briefly swapping allegiance.

“They've been very supportive of me throughout my career and I’m sure they’re behind me and want only one team to get a result,” he said. “I've been inundated with ticket requests.”

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The 44-year-old, who spent his playing days as a left-back, could have signed for his hometown club as a youngster but opted for Blackburn Rovers on the advice of his mother and father who thought he would have more opportunities at Ewood Park.

“I have to give credit to my parents, and especially my dad, for taking me up and down the motorway.” he said. “I could have been Leeds at one point but I chose to take a different path.”

It didn't take him long to grace the Elland Road turf, making his Rovers debut there in a last-minute 1-0 League Cup defeat in 1999 against a side including Jonathan Woodgate, Danny Mills, Harry Kewell and Alan Smith.

“I didn’t think we deserved to lose, it was a dubious goal,” he recalled. “The match came and went in a blur, but it was a great experience, a proud moment.”

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Today, Rotherham are seeking an against-all-odds win against opponents unbeaten in 2024. Draws aren't enough as they seek to claw back the 12-point gap between them and safety.

“You need to play well and have that little bit of luck and you also need the officiating to be spot on,” Richardson said.

“You also have to detach yourself emotionally from the atmosphere and everything that goes with it. We are professionals. It’s our job to do that and make the right decisions in the right moments and give a good account of ourselves.

“You only win at Elland Road as a team, you don't do it as individuals.”

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The Millers' build-up has been disrupted, with snow and rain once again having had a negative effect on the pitches at their Roundwood training base.

“We've suffered with the weather but we've overcome it and adapted and are going there fully prepared,” the head coach said.

Victory number three for Richardson? That would have him out of his seat.