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MANAGER: One where we can bounce back a little bit

Keith Millen looks ahead to tonight's game

18 January 2022

The Blues face Hartlepool at Brunton Park later today with both sides looking to claim the bragging rights in what is always a keenly contested fixture.

Match Previews

PREVIEW: Hartlepool

18 January 2022

Although never billed as a derby, there is definitely a rivalry that gets the blood flowing in both camps.

“I love atmospheres, for whatever reason, they’re great to play in,” manager Keith Millen said. “I don’t care what the reason is, whether it’s a local derby or whatever, if there’s a load of away fans here that get our fans going, it can only add to the atmosphere.

“I love a big noisy atmosphere, our fans were very supportive on Saturday. I saw the Crawley assistant manager’s interview after our game, and he mentioned the hostile atmosphere coming to Carlisle.

“That’s great, if that’s how the opposition see it. I don’t want opposition coming here enjoying themselves on and off the pitch. If we can create that atmosphere, and perform well, it’s a tough place to come.”

Pools head to Cumbria looking to get back to winning ways in the league, having won two and lost two of their last four games.

Match Previews

MATCH UPDATE: Hartlepool

17 January 2022

“When I look at the opposition I want to see their tactics and how they play, I don’t really look at where they are in the league or their current form,” he told us. “They’ve had a couple of really good cup results, and they’ve probably got mixed emotions.

“There’s the FA Cup game against Crystal Palace to look forward to, and you can sometimes lose a little bit of focus on your league games during that.

“I’m told that it’s a bit of a derby game, which is a new one on me, and hopefully that will add to it being a good atmosphere.

“The great thing for us is that we have this game where we can hopefully bounce back a little bit from Saturday’s performance. I want us to get back to being at our best. I think if we are then we’re a very difficult team to play against at home.”

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MANAGER: Simmering rather than boiling

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“Hartlepool are an attacking, possession team,” he continued. “They want to try and play and they’ve got an identity to what they’re doing. They like to pass the ball, so we’ve got to make sure they don’t enjoy coming here and playing on our big pitch.

“We’ve got to make sure we make it uncomfortable for them. We’ve looked at what they do well, and I think they’re a dangerous team going forward. We’ve got to make sure we stay solid and learn lessons from Saturday where I thought we were too open as a team.

“We haven’t really been like that, so I want to see us a lot closer and stronger as a unit. If we can be that then we’re a hard team to break down.

“They work hard, and unless you’re in the club you don’t know whether the cup run is having an impact or not, positive or negative. They’re a good footballing side, they try to play, they’re a dangerous team and they’ve been close in the games recently that they’ve had.

“I saw the Bristol Rovers game, there wasn’t much in that game. It was an unfortunate sending off at the end. We’ve done our homework on them as we do always.

“I’m hoping we get back to our best, and there was a frustration on Saturday, during the game and after. The lads knew that when we came in on Monday, we didn’t really go over it in any detail, it was just one of those days, let’s move on, learn from it and put it right.

“Most of all I think it’s important that we perform well for the fans, because they do see them as sort of local rivals. There’ll be a bit of an edge to it and the players realise the importance in that respect in that the fans will be happy if we can get a result.”

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