Shaun Miller volleyed his way to the Goal of the Week award on Boxing Day when he spun on the spot and smashed his sixth goal of the campaign into the bottom corner to set his side on the way to another three points against Accrington Stanley.
We spoke to him about the goal ahead of his Thursday afternoon training session.
“It’s always nice to score goals like that,” he said. “It’s followed on from the one against Barnet a couple of months ago as well, so I was delighted to see it go in. It was an important game for us and an important goal, so I was just really pleased overall.
“The finish was just instinctive. I didn’t actually look at the goal before I had the shot. It was just one of those situations where the balls pops up and you have a go. That’s the second time I’ve thought that, and it flew in, so I’ll have to keep trying them!”
On the weekly award, he said: “It’s always nice to win things like that from the EFL, and I did think it would have a chance. It’s nice to get interest in the goals you score and the little awards that come with it.
“I knew as soon as I’d hit it that it had a chance of going in, as I did with the one against Barnet. Anything on target that you hit sweetly like that has always got a chance. When I watched it back it flew past the keeper and it was right in the corner.”
But which is his favourite of the two wonder strikes he’s notched so far this season?
“The one against Accrington looks quite good, but I think the one against Barnet edges it,” he decided. “I’ll see if I get the goal of the month award for the Boxing Day goal, then I might change my mind!
“They’re definitely both up there as two of the best goals I’ve scored in my career.”
With two goals from his last three appearances, he admitted to feeling slightly frustrated at having to bide his time as Hallam Hope and Richie Bennett enjoy a spell of leading the line.
“It is frustrating for me at the moment, because I don’t want to be on the bench,” he told us. “I want to be playing and starting games. All I can do is try and make an impact when I come on.
“I’ve got a couple of goals in quick succession, so I just want to keep my goals tally ticking over. Hopefully that will mean I can force my way into the side. If I’m making an impact off the bench it’s another weapon for us to use.
“Having said that, I don’t want to be an impact sub, I want to be playing from the start, but it’s up to me to keep impressing when I do get the chance. Hopefully that will mean I can force my way into the starting line-up and get more minutes on the pitch.
“I’ll always keep myself ready for when the opportunity comes in terms of the fitness side of things. That’s all I can do. If I’m coming on, scoring goals and helping the team that’s a positive for everyone. Like I say, I want to play more and show more because I feel I can offer a lot more than just coming off the bench.
“I’m on six goals for the season now and I think at this stage last season I was on seven, after I thought I’d had a reasonable start to the season. I’m chipping away and hopefully I can contribute more, play more, and the goals will continue to come.”
“The goal came at an important time on Tuesday,” he commented. “We seem to be in a bad habit of conceding just after half time, which is disappointing, because we controlled the game well in the first half.
“It’s a massive run of games for us and we’ve got three wins on the bounce now - two of those in the league - which has lifted everyone. With the league being so tight, we know if we can go on a run we’re going to fly up the table.
“We’re right on the heels of quite a few teams above us now so it was important for us to keep the momentum going. If we could get two positive results in the next two games we’ll be right on their tails, and it would set us up nicely for the New Year to really go on a charge and get where we want to be.”
Looking ahead to the Coventry and Mansfield games, he said: “They are massive games against teams above us who we can claw back points on.
“If we can finish the year with four wins that would be tremendous. When you compare our form in the first half of this season to last season, it’s been nowhere near, and we know that. Hopefully we’re starting to build a bit of momentum and we can break into those play-off places, which we’re on the cusp of.
“Hopefully this season finishes stronger than last season did. If we can have a good second half of the season, we’ll be in with a shout. We know we’re capable of winning games, the problem this season has been the consistency.
“We’ve had some good performances followed by a few not so great performances, so any sort of consistency from us will see us right in the mix at the right end of the table.”
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