The United squad started their Thursday morning pretty much as normal, with a team meeting scheduled as soon as they’d finished getting changed, but manager Keith Millen revealed that the format was slightly changed as he looks for a change of environment to ignite a spark.
“I won’t go into too much detail, but normally meetings are led by myself,” he explained. “I review the game with the players on video clips generally, talking about what went well and what didn’t go so well.
“I didn’t feel that was the sort of meeting I wanted today [Thursday]. There wasn’t really any video work, it was more the players talking about where we are and the situation we’re in.
“I thought that was important because it can’t just be my voice all the time. The more communication we can have, the more ideas the players come up with, it’s got to be better rather than just me driving that.”
“It was a good, open discussion with all the players,” he added. I encourage that, I want the players to communicate and talk about the game more.
“It’s just the way footballers are these days, it’s not a natural thing any more. But you have to try and encourage it and create that environment and atmosphere where, even the young lads in the meeting, I want them to have a voice and opinion. They might come up with something we hadn’t thought about.
“It was a positive meeting. There were a lot of things said that will stay in the dressing room, a lot of honest conversation. I think everyone knows where we stand, and we’ll see.
“It’s not so much about the performance because I think the performances have been ok. I’m hoping the mindset will be a little bit different come Saturday.”
As mentioned, part of the post-match wash up from Tuesday was a review of a game that had seen some good chances go begging.
“I said I was angry afterwards and the same feeling is there, but I can’t walk around being angry all the time,” he told us. “I slept on it, and when I woke up I got my head around it and got ready to go again.
“We’ve had our meeting and we know where we are, and hopefully we see a response on Saturday. To hep with that you can control what you do a little bit in training.
“Normally the second day after a game would be a recovery day, with a bit of mannequin work that’s unopposed. That tends to save the energy a little bit, but today wasn’t the right time to do that.
“We’ve had a full-on 11v11, but only for short periods, because I’m not silly enough to run the energy out of them. We need them feeling good for the game, so it was short and sharp, aggressive, and it made for a good session.”