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MANAGER: We have a direction we're going

Keith Millen on continuing to take small steps

17 November 2021

With two wins, a draw and one defeat from his four games in charge you’d be forgiven if you think that Keith Millen should be feeling extremely positive right now, but the demand for still more from his charges is made clear when he’s asked how far he feels the team since he first took the reins for the Northampton game just over a fortnight ago.

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“There have been steps, small steps, but I’m still concerned that we’re not scoring enough goals,” he said. “You can do all the stuff we keep talking about, but you only win games by scoring goals, and that’s obviously a problem.

“But the way we’re going about things, I’m pleased with that. They’re listening, trying to implement what we’re doing, and it’s giving them confidence. And I think the fans are getting a sense of what we’re trying to do.

“The whole package at the moment has got a direction to where it’s going. But we have to win football matches, and I’m not stupid enough to say it’s really great. We’ve got to find a way of winning football matches, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Evident again on Saturday afternoon was the approach of looking after possession, and of players trying to work a way forward rather than giving the ball away cheaply.

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“If teams come against us and press us really high, you have to play past the press,” he explained. “You have to manage the game. I felt first half on Saturday we started really well, mixed our game up really well, but lost our way for a little while.

“In the second half I thought we looked fitter, moved the ball, recognised where the spaces were. We got into those areas, it’s just the end product that was missing.

“But I do feel more confident. After Northampton I was like, wow, we’ve got some work to do here. Now I feel we’ve got a direction to what we are doing.

“We’ve just got to get better, get fitter, better, more sprints, but that all comes from what you do in training.

“The fact we’ve had three clean sheets, the players understand what’s wanted and needed. There are going to be mistakes, if there are, we show them, we don’t ignore it.

“If there’s something wrong we say listen, that’s not right. Let’s put it right. And they are listening, learning, they want to help and improve each other.

“That gives everyone confidence. I sense there’s a little bit more of a belief around the place that we’re going in the right direction.”

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