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Club News

MANAGER: We looked at what we can do better

Keith Millen on being more creative in the final third

19 November 2021

Part of the preparation for this weekend’s away game at Exeter was a review of last weekend’s draw with Barrow, with boss Keith Millen admitting that a closer inspection of the 90 minutes had thrown up more points to be actioned.

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“Sometimes when I look back at the video after the game it’s better than I expected, and sometimes it’s worse,” he commented. “I would say it probably wasn’t as good as I felt straight after the game.

“We got into some really good areas in the final third, but I was disappointed with our lack of movement and lack of creativity to create more chances.

“There were still a lot of good things, we had more than 60% possession, but we needed to make it count more. That was my feeling after watching the video again.”

“A lot of people have been messaging me about three clean sheets, saying you’ve done well to get them set up defensively, but we’ve not been a low-block defensive team,” he continued. “Every game we’ve had more possession than the opposition.

“I think we’ve got the balance quite good as far as defending and controlling the game with the ball. The problem, certainly after watching the video of the Barrow game, is when we get into the final third, get the ball wide, is the lack of movement to create.

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“That’s something we showed the players and we asked them what we can do better. They’ve seen it on video, we’ve worked on it on the training ground. Hopefully they’ll improve, because we need to.

“We need to create more chances for the forwards, but sometimes forwards have to create chances themselves. If you can get in the 18-yard box, isolate your marker, that’s danger signs.

“We’ve spoken about that, worked on it this week, and I’m looking for an improvement. Certainly, if we have good possession again, we have to change that possession into goal chances.”

But there’s no sense about being dismissive about the clean sheets earned through what has been a period of gradual changes.

“You want to see them because they give you a chance of winning a game,” he said. “We’ll be going there to do the same things we’ve done in the last three games.

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“If we can do that and improve on some things, I want us to still play and have possession of the ball, but we’ve worked a lot this week on being more effective with the possession we’ve had.

“In and around the box, can we have more movement and creativity, that’s what we’ve been looking at this week.”

Tomorrow afternoon’s away trip is a return to an old stomping ground for Tristan Abrahams and Brennan Dickenson, with the added energy that can bring to an individual’s performance.

“Sometimes that depends on the reason behind you leaving the club,” he told us. “Sometimes you can get released by a club and want to go back there and prove a point.

“Every player’s different in the history of where they’ve been. Quite often you want to go back and say - this is me now, this is what you’re missing out on.

“That’s what it is, and what I’m looking for is every one of our players to go out there, work hard, and look to earn us the win we all want to see.”

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