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Club News

MANAGER: Simmering rather than boiling

Transfer window and injury update from manager Keith Millen

17 January 2022

United boss Keith Millen confirmed this afternoon that there will be no new faces ahead of the Tuesday night visit of Hartlepool, with the focus on the game and on what is a busy week.

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MATCH UPDATE: Hartlepool

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“In terms of transfers I would say at the moment it’s more simmering than boiling over the top,” he told us. “I’m not too worried over the next couple of days, I’m just going to really focus on the game Tuesday.

“You never know, I might get a phone call tomorrow and things have changed. We’re looking, trying to keep as many plates spinning as possible, because you know not all the deals are going to come off, for whatever reason.

“We need to make sure we’ve got options and then we’ll see in the next couple of weeks. I’m happy with what we’ve got, but I’m always looking to get better.”

“I’d say probably not ahead of the Tuesday game,” he added. “Really I’m just concentrating on the game on Tuesday now.

“We’ll have a look at it again on Wednesday, but the conversations change every day. We’re not in a rush, we’re happy with what we’ve done so far, and it’s allowed us to calm down a little bit and work with what we’ve got.

“If something comes up that will improve us then I’ll look at it. The club are still very supportive in helping us trying to improve and make us better.”

Match Previews

PREVIEW: Hartlepool

18 January 2022

And on outgoings, with Taylor Charters having made an immediate impact at Gateshead, he spoke again about the benefits of getting regular game time for the younger players.

“We are trying to get some of the younger players out on loan,” he told us. “Taylor made his debut for Gateshead and played a big part in their win.

“The feedback was that he’d done well, that’s really pleasing for him, so we need to try and get some more of the younger ones out to get them some first team football. 

“There are a lot of discussions on that. The main thing is you want to try and send them somewhere where they’re going to play.

“Once they get their chance they’ve got to keep their shirt by playing well. But I don’t want to send them somewhere to be a sub or squad player - they need to be going somewhere they’re going to get a start and hopefully be one of the best players on the pitch.

“When that happens it becomes a good loan move. We have to be a bit choosy and picky on what clubs we’re going to send them to.”

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As was seen on Saturday, there is now a lot of competition of places, with a strong bench to back up the starters.

“We’re in a good place, and there are no injuries really from Saturday,” he confirmed. “There are a couple of little knocks but everyone trained today.

“The squad players did a little bit extra, the likes of Zach Clough, he’s getting fitter every day. He needs more work to get to match fitness. I think medically now he’s confident in his body, which is important. He’s not match fit obviously, nor is Lewi Alessandra, with the time they’ve had out.

“Lewi had a little bit of game time but a big impact on Saturday. I’m trying to top the squad players up, the ones who’ve been out injured or away with Covid, trying to get them all up to speed. We’re good in that respect.”

“Joe Riley’s another who has had time out, he’s getting fitter and stronger with every training session,” he added. “Medically they’re fine, it’s just how much game time I feel they might have in their legs, are they sharp enough yet to make an impact in the game.

“I’ve got some selection headaches, which is nice to have. Sam Fishburn is the other and he felt better in training. Giving him the weekend to rest was probably the right decision. He trained fully today.

“It’s more of a tendonitis problem he’s got which sometimes in young players, when you increased their workload, can flare up. It’s just something I want to keep on top of, so I don’t want it dragging on. We’ll see how it is after today’s training session, but he said it felt fine. 

“And we’ve seen what Omari can bring. I think he’s ready. He trained today and he felt fine. With Covid, you don’t always know what it can do to your body. It might feel ok but when you get to those levels, where you start getting a little bit tired, I think that’s when he can have an impact still. That’s where we’ve tried to be a little bit careful with his game time. He’s fine so he’s in contention as well.”


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