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INTERVIEW: We're all hurting

21 August 2013

Lee Miller on his return to action

Striker Lee Miller spoke to us this week about his desire to get back into action so that he can help to put things right.

“It’s been very hard to watch from the sidelines these last few weeks,” he admitted. “There’s obviously nothing much you can do. 

“You can give as much positive encouragement and input as possible before a game and during the week, but there’s nothing you can actually do out on the pitch.” 

“Obviously me getting sent off in the first game – the first half hour of the season, in fact – isn’t a great feeling, to be honest,” he told us. “I had a bad start to last season and it goes on from there. 

“I’ve let the boys down and it feels like I’ve let myself down. That’s even though I don’t think there was too much in the collision. It’s the type of thing which has happened so many times before, but the way the other player landed affected the referee’s decision. It’s happened, it’s gone now, and I’ve had to deal with it.

“There was no point in talking to the referee about the decision because he’s made his mind up. I don’t think it would have done me any favours to voice my opinion or to follow it up with him. It just doesn’t go anywhere if you do.

“I was gutted at the time because, like I say, it was the first game of the season and it felt like everything was going so well. We’d all had a good pre-season and we were feeling quietly confident. How that can turn around in a couple of games is incredible.”

Looking at the defeat last Saturday, he said: “There were a lot of down bodies – beaten, defeated – in the dressing room after the Coventry game but we have got to pick ourselves up. We have good players and there are lads who were here last season when we were turning good teams over. We’ve got to take those positives into this season and hopefully we can bounce back quickly.”

“I just want to get back to it now,” he added. “I’ve only had 30 minutes and I really am distraught about that. I missed the great performance against Blackburn and that’s the kind of thing we have in our locker. We just have to get back to producing that every week. 

“Confidence has been knocked and we can’t get away from that fact. There are a lot of young lads in that dressing room and they are at the start of their careers. The older lads need to gather round them, keep them together and get them going.” 

“The first step is to go about our business properly on the training ground,” he continued. “We have to start to enjoy our football again because this is a horrible, horrible game sometimes. It does knock you down and, when you find yourself down there, it doesn’t do you any favours. You need to stand strong and earn your luck and your results.” 

“I think the fans have voiced their opinion and they are more than entitled to do that,” he agreed. “I was with them behind the goals [Warwick Road End] for the Coventry game and I didn’t know where to look. 

“It was horrible to watch and to see the team lose in the manner they did is hard for us all to accept. I know they were trying their hardest, and nobody can ever question that, but it isn’t nice to watch and it has to change for all of us. 

“We need to start keeping clean sheets during a game for longer than we are. We’re not giving ourselves any kind of foothold so, if we can do that, we’ll start to give ourselves a chance and build the confidence back up again.”

And on the manager, he said: “I know from myself, and speaking from a personal point of view, that I am 110% behind the gaffer. 

“He has been great with me and the boys and I think we all owe it to him because, at the end of the day, it’s us who cross the white line. He can set us up in whatever shape he wants and give us as much information about the other team as he wants - which he does with every team we play - but it comes down to what we do when we’re out there which determines the result. It’s about our individual performances and what we do collectively as a team.” 

“Football is a strange game which can throw up results like this,” he told us. “To have three on the spin is very, very disappointing. We’re all hurting in there. 

“I think it’s massively important to try to lift the place as much as possible because you’re going to get players who feel down for most of the week. There’s a time for a few jokes and laughs and then there is a time to make sure we are doing things properly. The fact is that the hard work to turn this round begins on the training pitch.”

United Player subscribers can see a video interview with Lee Miller now. Click HERE to go to the Player platform. Follow the same link for more on United Player, and to subscribe.

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