Steve Evans told Millwall striker Lee Gregory to “look forward to League One” after Rotherham secured their Sky Bet Championship survival and sent the Lions and Wigan down.
The Millers, deducted three points by the Football League for fielding an ineligible player, beat Reading 2-1 on Tuesday night in their game in hand to book their place in the second tier for a second season.
Sheffield born Gregory, who was in Sheffield United’s academy but played for Stavely Miners Welfare before moving into league football with Mansfield, had said he “(hoped) Rotherham bottle it” in their final two games of the season, which would have allowed his side the chance to stay up.
And Rotherham manager Evans was quick to remember those comments in the aftermath of his side’s victory.
Evans said: “A Millwall player said we’ve not got bottle. I’ve got 12 bottles of pink finest Champagne and we’ll be drinking them for about a week.
“Look forward to League One, son, and keep your trap shut.”
An adrenalin-fuelled Evans also fired shots at the Football League for their sanctioning of the Millers last week, a decision which may still be appealed despite the club’s safety.
Evans added: “I’ve said before, they can take the points, what are they going to do now, we’ve got fans on the pitch, take more off us?
“When you’ve got the desire and fighting spirit inside you that every one of those players have, the staff, the directors, the supporters, then let’s see what they are going to do us tomorrow.
“But we are in the Championship for another year, whoever they are, they won’t like it. They won’t like it.”
Evans later added: “Millwall inspired us by making a comment that we would bottle it,” he said. “My players don’t bottle it, we have too many big occasions that we have come through.
“I don’t think the manager (Neil Harris) would make comments like that. They are people with the highest integrity, I’ve got no doubt they’ll be on the phone to us to congratulate us for staying up.”