Leeds boss Steve Evans wants FA Cup tie with Rotherham to be about the football

Leeds United East Stand

The first game of the season between the pair saw both managers going back to their former clubs.

Steve Evans wants football to be the narrative of Leeds' FA Cup third round tie with Rotherham, rather than the fact it provides both managers with the opportunity to return to their former clubs, and the controversy of their previous meeting, the Yorkshire Evening Post report.

November's clash between the two saw the Millers move off the bottom of the Championship table having secured their first win under former Whites boss Neil Redfearn

However, an altercation between Gaetano Berardi and Leon Best saw both sides finish with 10 men, and Redfearn hit out at Leeds owner Massimo Cellino after he claimed that the club that he left in acrimonious circumstances in the summer, had refused him a parking space for the encounter.

With the draw throwing up another clash at Elland Road, some may fear that 'parking space-gate' may not be the last instalment in the spat between Cellino and his former head coach. 

But Evans has urged for the focus to be placed solely on the football when the two sides meet again in January, report the Yorkshire Evening Post.

"There's significance in the tie, clearly there is, but this time I'd hope the focus on things away from the pitch will subside. Neil's been back to his old club, I've been up against my old club, a lot's been said and written and maybe this time we can let the football speak," he said.

"I don't want the show to be about me and I hope Neil doesn't want it to be about him, or car parking or about what's gone on with the owner here. I felt that some of the drama afterwards was allowed to get a bit out of control.

"The bottom line is that they beat us in that game but in the cold analysis it was clear that we created five or six clear chances. They created one and scored so we need to put that right. I absolutely want us in the fourth round," he added.

With both sides struggling in the Championship - although Leeds' victory over Hull lifted some of the gloom - the cup may not have been high on either teams' priority list before the draw was made.

And while neither manager will want to lose to their former club, especially in a Yorkshire derby, both sides' precarious league positions may mean that both Evans and Readfearn consider fielding some of their fringe players in the hope that their key men remain fit for their league fixtures.

With that in mind, while Evans wants the focus to be on what happens on the pitch, the potential for a cup tie that neither is truly concerned with winning may mean that the attention has to be averted to what is happening off the pitch once again. 

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