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MANAGER: Sometimes it's about mindset

Keith Millen with an injury update

8 December 2021

Captain Callum Guy caused a scare when he limped from the pitch in the second half of the Tuesday night game at Mansfield, but manager Keith Millen was hopeful that the decision to make the switch will mean that recovery will be swift.

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“He felt his groin, he wanted to carry on, but I didn’t want to risk making it worse,” he said. “He’s been brilliant, so fingers crossed, bringing him off has stopped him getting any more damage to it.

“I was hoping getting him off early might save any future problems, we’ll have to wait and see in the next couple of days on that one.

“Zach Clough is going to be out for a few weeks. He’s got a problem with his calf, it’s an old injury that’s flared up again, so he’ll be sidelined for a while.”

On what the run of injuries means to competition for places, and how it possibly affects the January window activity, he told us: “You’re always looking to try and improve the team.

“I’m not just looking at the forwards, I’m looking at can we be better from a creative point of view, can we have more quality, players picking better passes.

“It’s all over the pitch that we need to be better. My job now is to get some players in that are right for us, that will help the group be better, and we need also more competition.

“We’ve got young lads, we’ve got injuries, and there’s players playing week in, week out, giving their all. You can’t ask any more of them.

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“You have to remember that we are creating chances, that’s something we have to cling onto. If we weren’t playing well I’d be more concerned. I am concerned, but I think there’s a belief.

“The players understand what we’re trying to do. They can see that we’re playing well. As long as that stays in place, things will change, whether it’s our luck, some personnel in January, whatever - things will change. We’ve got to keep doing what we’re doing, if you don’t, you’ve got no change.”

So does it need to be a ‘batten down the hatches’ from the group as they look to get themselves away from the bottom areas of the division.

“I think there’s an understanding of the situation,” he confirmed. “I won’t put more pressure on the group by saying where we are. I don’t need to. It’s far too early in the season, so I don’t go down that route.

“The mindset needs to be of maybe being more demanding. I’ve said it before, no-one means to miss chances, they all want to score goals. It might just be a reaction that might spark someone else to do something different.

“That’s what I’m questioning and asking of the group – can we do something different. It’s something we need to look at, because we’re so close.

“It is small margins, but those small margins have to start tipping our side. Too many times they’re going against us. I can’t stand here and accept that. 

“We are looking at everything to try to help to bring a spark. You need people that are going to create, and you know what goalscorers are like, they can go in spells of scoring and not scoring.

“We’ve got to come out of these spells for all our frontmen, and it isn’t just them, it’s all of us. Our defenders, Jack Armer is the only one that’s scored this season. It’s the team, we need to try and come up with ways.

“It’s not about ability, it’s about a mindset sometimes. Get someone angry, they go and do something because they’re angry.

“I’m just trying to help them think of something that will spark them instead of saying every game, we’re doing well, doing well, but nothing at the end of it.

“You need doing well and adding something that made a difference.” 

And his final words were for the supporters, particularly those who made the journey in awful conditions on Tuesday night.

“I thank them first of all,” he said. “It’s atrocious, the weather, for them to brave coming down here is fantastic. The players, staff and myself, we all appreciate them being here, that’s why I made sure we went over to them.

“They clapped us off the pitch. I think the fans can see what the players are doing, what effort they’re putting in. Hopefully that gives them some belief in what we’re trying to do.

“I want them to still back us if they can, still come and follow us, the fans away from home have been brilliant. I really appreciate it.

“We will turn it round because there’s a good spirit in the group. When you have those small margins it doesn’t take a lot to turn it our way, and that will happen.”

Click HERE to watch an interview with Keith Millen on iFollow United now.

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