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INTERVIEW: We've got to build on it for next season

Defender Tom Miller on going one better next season

31 May 2017

United defender Tom Miller made over 50 appearances in his second season with the Blues as he helped United to secure a play-off place and he admitted this week that it’s going to take a while to come to terms with the manner of the defeat at the hands of Exeter City earlier this month.

“I’m nowhere near getting over the play-off defeat,” he said. “Having said that, we’ve got to move on and build on this for next season because, regardless of the result, it’s been a successful season for the club.

“We finished sixth in the league which is another improvement from the year before. It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster but we can take a lot of positives from it. I had my meeting with the gaffer and I’m sure he’s going to build an even stronger squad for next year.

“Like I say, sixth place is something to build on. If we make the same type of improvement we’ll be in the automatic places next year.”

As for how long it will take him to completely dust off the disappointment, he said: “We’ll see how the summer goes. I’ll be disappointed for a while but I’ll get on holiday with my family and things like that and try and get over it.

“Missing out on Wembley, which is a boyhood dream of mine, is never easy to take. We’ve got such a good group of lads who aren’t just playing to get paid. It actually means something, especially to people like me after being here two years now.

“The gaffer gave me the opportunity to come here and the fans accepted me straight away. They’ve been brilliant for me and for all of us. As a club it means a lot to me now – it’s more than just the team I play for – and that’s something I haven’t really had in my life before.

“For that reason the Exeter defeat was devastating on a personal level, and I know it was the same for the fans who’ve been with us through it all. I was genuinely gutted and hopefully I won’t ever feel like that again.”

Looking ahead to making sure lessons have been learned, he said: “Finishing sixth has put a real marker down. You’ve always got to improve and it’s a club which wants to keep going in the right direction.

“Let’s be honest, this is a big club. I’ve been with the gaffer for two seasons now and he has real ambition and a desire to succeed. That’s why he can be so hard on you as a player, because he wants the best from everybody all the time. He’s got really high standards and I find that to be a pleasure to work with.

“I think if there’s anything less than even more improvement next year it will be disappointing. I don’t think the people at the club at the moment will allow that to happen. That’s why I’m confident that next year will be a good one for this football club.”

As for what he’s targeting on a personal level, he told us: “I had my meeting with the gaffer and we went through my personal improvement targets. There are always areas you can improve, so I gave him my opinions on certain situations and he did the same.

“One definite thing is that I want to get more goals next season. I only got one this year, which is disappointing. I’m happy assists wise this season but I always want to improve on that as well.

“Another element of my game which I think will be massive for myself and the team next year is for me to make sure I work forward more. It’s something I’ve spoken to the gaffer about and it’s something I know I can do.

“The way we set up this year didn’t always allow me to do that. With people like Mike Jones coming out of the team it sort of meant I had to sit in a little bit more, because he used to release himself in those areas. I just want to improve overall and promotion is obviously the main aim.

“If we get promotion, regardless of how I play, I’ll be happy.”

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