Football: Jackpot Beckons in Lottery; the Play-Offs Could Work in Wolves' Favour Today, Striker Kenny Miller Tells GED Scott
Like most at Wolverhampton Wanderers a year ago, Kenny Miller was not the biggest believer in the fairness of the play-off system.
But the club's 24-goal top scorer has changed his mind and will lead the frontline for Dave Jones' men against Sheffield United at the Millennium Stadium today simply grateful to be there at all - and intent on emulating Birmingham City's achievement of winning promotion, despite finishing fifth.
Last May, Wolves had finished third but then were ousted in the play-off semi-finals by sixthplaced Norwich City.
'I was sick last season at how things turned out,' admits Miller, who played a limited role a year ago in the wake of a broken collar bone. 'We had finished third and Norwich were sixth. It was Birmingham City, who had finished fifth, who eventually won promotion and it all looks a bit unfair. But that is how the play-off system works. There's really no difference between finishing third and sixth.
'This time the system has worked to our benefit, although there were only four points between ourselves and Sheffield United, rather than the larger gap which existed last season.
'What happened to us last season was a massive disappointment, but it has simply made us all the more determined.
'We actually suffered a bit of a hangover at the start of this season when a lot of people were writing us off, telling us we wouldn't even make the play-offs this time. But we've come good at the right time, the boys are relaxed and we're confident of finishing the season on a high.
'You only have to mention the name 'Wolves' and people automatically think of a club which should have Premiership status, so this is a huge opportunity for us to realise the ambitions of everyone associated with the club.
'It's a strange situation going from league football into what is, effectively, knock-out cup football, but it is great to be involved at the end of what has been a long, hard season.
'Everyone wants to be playing in the Premiership and for a club of Wolves' size, having not been up there for years, Monday will be a massive, massive game. …