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Interviews

MANAGER: There hasn't been a no

Keith Millen on backing from the board during the transfer window

7 January 2022

United now have three new deals done and one contract extension under the belt as we head towards the end of the first week of the transfer window, and all the signs are that manager Keith Millen will be adding more over the coming weeks.

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“We’ve discussed the finances with the club with regards to all of the targets we’ve been going for and they’ve been great,” the gaffer confirmed. “There hasn’t been a no.

“We’re not silly and we’re not going in with silly figures, but we know the budget. I don’t want to break the pay structure of the club.

“If you bring players in on big money, you upset the balance of the group. I’ve been in plenty of dressing rooms where that’s happened, and I won’t do that here.

“We’re trying to bring players in within the budget and where we are as a club. The club have been great backing me, whether that’s with wages or if we need to try and pay a fee.

“It’s going ok at the moment, I’m pleased to get a few in the building early on, and if we can get a few more in we might have to look at getting some of the younger players out to get some more game time so we can see what’s best for their development.”

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Having added to the forward line with Tyrese Omotoye and Omari Patrick, and the back line with Joel Senior, we wondered if we could see any more new faces ahead of the visit of Bradford.

“I’m hopeful every day, but hope dwindles as the day goes on,” he commented. “Probably not before Saturday, but we’re certainly still looking and we’re close to maybe one or two. 

“In terms of the type of player, I haven’t really got an issue with their age, if I’m honest, whether they’re 20 or 30.

“If they’re the right type I would look at them. The trouble with more experienced ones, clubs aren’t going to let them go in January.

“And believe me, there’s not many senior centre-forwards available. It’s a very difficult market in January in that department.

“You look at a lot of the players that are moving around, normally they’re the younger ones. If there was an experienced one I felt wanted to come in for the right reasons, I would look at it, absolutely.

“It doesn’t bother me, the age, you can over 30 and still look inexperienced in your game. It’s not a concern really, age.”

Match Previews

PREVIEW: Bradford

7 January 2022

But with Jonathan Dinzeyi having returned to Arsenal, it appears to leave a need for cover in that central defensive area.

“That does leave us a little bit short there, we can’t deny that,” he said. “Obviously Rod, Morgan and Corey have been the three that have played there for me and done really well.

“Ideally you’d like to have two players for each position. The good thing about Joel Senior is he can cover right and left back.

“If you’ve got a few players that can cover more than one position, that helps. As in specialist centre halves, we’re probably a little bit short there.

“One week you’re happy you’re keeping clean sheets and they’re doing well, then someone might get injured and you’re like wow, we’re short now.

“We’re looking, that’s one of the departments we’re looking at. Again, it needs to be the right type and someone that’s going to come in to compete. I don’t need just want another body.”

One thing already discussed was the potential for top clubs to hold onto their players with Covid ripping through some of the top-flight squads as we speak.

“Premier League clubs definitely are holding players back,” he reiterated. “I’ve seen stories, some of the big clubs having to pull players back from their loans to be part of the squad.

“Certain players we’ve looked at, their clubs have said not at the moment, because of Covid. So you say ok, move on, and from our point of view I just felt with Jonathan and Brad, it was the right time for them to return.

“I’ve not really left ourselves short, we’ve got an almost fully fit squad now, and there’s a few coming back. Fingers crossed we’re getting stronger, and we’re going to need to be, because of all the games coming up.”


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