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INTERVIEW: He's put in a decent structure

Defender Kelvin Mellor on clean sheets, new information and working hard for each other

15 November 2021


INTERVIEW: He's put in a decent structure

Defender Kelvin Mellor on clean sheets, new information and working hard for each other

15 November 2021

Defender Kelvin Mellor has returned from a frustrating injury niggle to start three of the last four games under new boss Keith Millen, and he spoke to us after full-time on Saturday about what has been a period of gradual change, and about a tight derby-day affair which ultimately saw United and Barrow settle for a share of the spoils.

Match Reports


13 November 2021

“It was a tough game and both teams battled well,” he said. “I thought we put up a good fight, and I felt we were going to go on and win the game.

“Unfortunately Rod’s chance hit the crossbar, and I think the keeper made a save that nobody could see. It did feel like we were going to score.

“And it definitely felt like we were pretty solid, even though they had chances in the first half that they missed. Overall I think we had the better chances and it felt like it was just a matter of time before the ball would go into the net.”

Expanding more on four clean sheets from the last five outings for the Blues, he commented: “You do take pride off clean sheets and if the team’s winning it’s a bonus.

“It’s always a great platform to start with and it’s not just the defenders who are doing it, it’s the whole team. We’re working hard for each other.

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“It’s tough to keep clean sheets anyway, but the manager has given us a base to work on and we’re taking everything he says on board. We’re working hard and that’s the minimum requirement.

“The start of the season has been difficult but I don’t think we look like a bottom three team at the moment. We’re playing some good football and I’m really enjoying it out there. We just need to keep fighting.

“The manager has put in a decent structure and it’s helping us to understand what each other’s jobs are. From there you can help your mate out, and the work we’re doing through the week is working.

“Obviously you want to win games, but you also don’t want to lose. That’s what we’ve been doing.”

With close to 6,000 Carlisle fans in the stadium on Saturday, it served as a reminder for all of the potential the club has.

“It was good, they were really loud through the whole game, and you know you’ll get that when it’s a derby,” he told us. “You definitely felt the atmosphere on the pitch and it really helps the team when it’s like that.

“It adds an extra one or two per cent when you feel they’re really behind you and that can potentially help you to score a goal. It makes the other team nervous, it gives you confidence, and they helped to make it a good game.

Club News

MANAGER: Frustrated not to turn it into a win

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“The way we started helped them to get behind us even more. We could have been out of sight in those first 20 minutes, we played some really good stuff, and we just need to put the ball in the back of the net in those periods when we dominate.”

And finding the net is a frustration shared across the group, but with a feeling that the work being done will lead to a change in fortunes.

“We do feel it’s only a matter of time before we put the ball in the net and then it’ll be a case of, yes, and we’ll do the same again,” he said. “It’s just the momentum thing, and you can see that from the last three games we’ve had.

“We’re playing some good stuff and we just need to be a bit more clinical and ruthless in the box. We’ve just got to keep working on what we’re doing.

“After the last three games you can see that we’re playing and doing things differently, and it suits us.

“The manager is giving us good information and we’re sticking to it, and it’s making us more confident on the ball. That’s why I think it’s just a matter of time before it starts going in the back of the net.”

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MANAGER: We don't know the full extent yet

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A change of gaffer can be unsettling, particularly early in the season, but the right back confirmed that the squad has knuckled down and that there’s a sense of determination when it comes to taking the new information on board.

“There’s been some changes, that’s always going to be the way, but he’s breaking it all down to make it really simple,” he explained. “I think you can see that we are taking it on board and we’ve just got to keep getting better at what he wants us to do.

“Going through the process of losing a manager is uncomfortable and the position the club’s in at the moment isn’t where it should be.

“This is a tough business and it can be hard, then when you lose a manager you don’t know who it will be who will come in. Fortunately it’s all turned into a positive.

“We’re working so hard in training on how we can improve and we work hard for each other. Unfortunately we are where we are and we’ve just got to take things one game at a time. If we keep taking the positives out of games and building on them then we’ll start picking up more points.

Club News

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“I’m really enjoying it, when a manager changes you’re never sure what it’s going to be, like but I’m really enjoying it.

“The job he’s asking me to do is something that suits me, and all you can do is put the work in and do whatever the new manager wants to the best of your ability.

“It’s a nice big pitch and it felt like we got a lot of joy through our full backs getting out and into space.”

And we couldn’t let him go without talking about his first goal for the club … against his former club Morecambe, no less, in the final Papa John’s Trophy group game.

“It was nice to go back to Morecambe and score,” he told us. “I wasn’t going to celebrate but a few of their fans were giving me a bit of stick behind the goal, so I had to give them a bit back.

“I’ve only got nice things to say about Morecambe and my time there. They made me enjoy my football again and it’s a great club.

“But it’s about what happens here now. We’ve got to stay composed and keep working hard and doing the basics right. Hopefully I can chip in with a few goals like the other night and help the team however I can.

“We’re starting to build some momentum so we’ve just got to go down to Exeter and keep doing what we’re doing. We’ll go down there feeling confident.

“We have to go there and take the game to them and make sure we don’t let them dictate it. They’re a good side, they’re usually up there at the end of the season, but it’s a funny old league and anything can happen.”

Click HERE to watch an interview with Kelvin Mellor on iFollow United now.

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