Mills - Don't underestimate Donny

Defender expecting thorough examination from his former employers

Matt Mills knows exactly what to expect from Doncaster Rovers when they visit the Reebok Stadium this weekend.

The central defender, who has featured in the last 13 games for Bolton, has not only previously played for Doncaster Rovers but also alongside their current boss Paul Dickov.

Mills signed for Manchester City from Southampton as a promising youngster in January 2006, with Dickov then in his second spell at Eastlands. 

A year later and in need of first team football, Mills headed for two separate loan spells with Doncaster before eventually signing permanently after winning the League One play-off final with the South Yorkshire club. 

And ahead of this weekend’s game Mills stressed the importance of not underestimating his former club.

“We know it’ll be a tough game,” Mills said. “I know Paul Dickov well and some of the players who are still there. They’ll certainly be a difficult test for us, but it’s a game we feel we can win.

“We won’t underestimate them. We’ll do our homework and make sure we’re fully prepared. 

“I of course have very fond memories from my time at Doncaster. They were a great club for me to go and play some football with and learn my trade.

“Sometimes it is tough when you’ve got three games in a week, but that’s something that we as players have to deal with.

“We need to be good on the ball because it’s important we’re not chasing it for 90 minutes.”

In the aforementioned play-off final triumph at the end of the 2007/08 season, Mills came face-to-face with his current manager, Dougie Freedman, who himself was then on-loan at Leeds United. 

Freedman started the game at the Millennium Stadium that day alongside Jermaine Beckford, with Doncaster eventually prevailing 1-0.

Mills added: “I was lucky enough to play in that play-off final during my time there and that was fantastic for a club like Doncaster.

“For Doncaster to be playing the Championship is probably a bit of an over-achievement. 

“Certainly, when I was there and the budget was probably a little lower than it is now, we had a great manager, a great chairman in John Ryan and we were a good team. We deserved to go up that year.”
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