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Club News

MANAGER: Something to build on

Keith Millen on taking the positives from the weekend

15 February 2022

Close to 250 away fans enjoyed the sight of two goals being bagged right in front of them at the Jobserve Community Stadium on Saturday, and manager Keith Millen spoke about his hopes for more of the same as the focus now switches to Swindon on Saturday.

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“The good thing on Saturday was we scored two goals in front of them, so they’ll have enjoyed that,” he said. “That hasn’t happened too many times.

“The goals were really pleasing, and it shows us we have got a threat. We just didn’t pass the ball enough again, which is disappointing, but I’m not going to criticise because that’s the nervousness and lack of experience.

“We’ve got to give the fans the same sort of commitment next Saturday and hopefully they’ll get behind us.”

“We have to take encouragement from seeing the determination not to lose,” he continued. “You can’t just keep criticising, and digging people out. You’ve got to take positives from games like that.

“You have to have something to build on, and that’s something we can take from it. Circumstances have put us into this position. There’s nothing I can do about that.

“You lose six senior players, it’s something I have to deal with and the group have to come to terms with. It’s nice to come away with something from the game and we can look forward to a good week of training.”

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“Scoring two good goals definitely gives us hope,” he told us. “When you haven’t scored goals, like we haven’t, you go a goal down and that really gets you.

“You’ve really got to try and be strong, because you know over the season we’ve not scored enough goals. That’s why it was so important to keep battling and show that spirit.

“I saw the enthusiasm to try and get forward again, and it lifts everybody. And you know Joe’s got that little bit of quality when you want someone to pick a cross out.

“Tobi was in the right area, so I was really pleased for him to get his goal. You’ve always got to believe. If you don’t believe, you shouldn’t be here.

“I agree we had lost our way, you could see their heads had gone a little bit. But that’s League Two. A little bit of quality either wins you the game or gets you back into it.”

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With the right back having been visibly distraught after the third goal was conceded against Port Vale, his hand in the equaliser demonstrates once again just how much football fortunes can change in such a short space of time. 

“He’s a great lad, he’s fine,” the manager commented. “He doesn’t need to be told what happened in the last game. I did have a chat with him.

“I think playing wing-back freed him up a little bit more, another reason why I don’t see us at the moment having a strong enough back four, purely by the players available. That will make him feel better. We’ve all got to get better at what we’re doing. That’s no doubt. 

“The midfield pair of Whelan and Mellish played their part as well. My thinking at the start was who’s the fittest to start the game, and because of the run we’ve been on, I wanted to make us feel we were more on the front-foot, not to overplay and give them chances.

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“It was more a case of trying to pass forward, run forward, try and get a bit more pressure on the ball high up the pitch. That’s why I went with what I went with.

“And Dev and a few others still aren’t match fit yet. You can probably get away with one you know is not going to last. If you’ve got two who you know are struggling, you can pick up a couple of injuries and all of a sudden we’re out of subs. 

“It’s about getting the right people at the right time for the battle ahead. I personally look forward to it. It’s a challenge, but hopefully the players look forward to it as well, and I’ve got to help them.

“We’ve got to improve, but there’s a willingness there to try and get better. If you’ve got that then I’m happy to go and work with them every day.”

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