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DANNY MILLS: Leeds can set the record straight against Cardiff in their FA Cup clash on Sunday

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DANNY MILLS: Leeds can set the record straight against Cardiff in their FA Cup clash on Sunday

DANNY MILLS: We were top of the league at Leeds when third tier Cardiff knocked us out of the FA Cup – perhaps Jesse Marsch’s men can set the record straight when the two sides meet on Sunday

  • Cardiff pulled off one of the FA Cup’s great shocks when they toppled Leeds
  • It came in 2002, when David O’Leary’s side were top of the Premier League
  • Danny Mills recalls the match as a case of ‘get your head down and run’
  • Leeds will have the chance to set the record straight in Sunday’s FA Cup clash

We arrived in Wales on the back of three straight wins and sitting top of the Premier League.

This is an exciting young Leeds team under David O’Leary and we reached the semi-finals of the Champions League last season.

Heading into Ninian Park, Cardiff were 10th in the third tier and we might have gotten a little complacent.

Danny Mills recalls a 'hostile atmosphere' when Cardiff beat Leeds in the 2002 FA Cup

Danny Mills recalls a ‘hostile atmosphere’ when Cardiff beat Leeds in the 2002 FA Cup

Mark Viduka put us 1-0 up early but Rio Ferdinand was injured, Graham Kavanagh equalized and Alan Smith was dismissed before half-time.

The atmosphere became increasingly hostile during the game and various objects were thrown onto the pitch, including empty miniature bottles of whisky, gin and vodka.

Referee Andy D’Urso had to stop the game at one point because he was hit in the head by a coin.

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In the second half, Cardiff chairman Sam Hammam spun behind the goal, sending the crowd reeling. He runs up and down, waving his arms.

Former Leeds midfielder (right) urges Jesse Marsch's side to 'set the record'

Former Leeds midfielder (right) urges Jesse Marsch’s side to ‘set the record’

Cardiff scored a late winner through Scott Young and I remember D’Urso warning us to get off the pitch as quickly as possible when the game was over. It was pretty obvious that there was going to be a mass pitch invasion.

We got off unscathed but it was basically a case of, ‘when the whistle blows, put your head down and run for the tunnel’.

Leeds fans never forget that day and that’s why it’s always so intense whenever they play Cardiff.

Starting that year at the Premier League summit, we finished the season in fifth and missed out on qualification for the Champions League. But that FA Cup defeat should not be blamed for how the rest of the season went.

I look at Leeds now and I think it’s going to be touch and go in terms of Premier League survival because it’s so tight. They get a bit carried away going forward sometimes they just need to see the result, win or draw.

Twenty-one years since we lost at Ninian Park, perhaps Leeds can set the record on Sunday.