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MANAGER: They're having a very good season

Keith Millen looks ahead to the Forest Green game

21 January 2022

It’s the long haul to Forest Green for the Blues on Saturday afternoon and manager Keith Millen spoke about what he thinks will be a tough test when he sat with the press on Thursday afternoon.

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“They’re having a very good season,” he said. “Rob [Edwards] has gone in there, it’s his first real managerial job, and I think he inherited a good squad.

“They’ve been in the top places for a few years now, it’s a well-run club with a good budget. They have a way of playing, they score goals, and they’re doing what they do really well.

“They’re dangerous going forward, but we should look forward to this. We go into in really good form, and in the current form table we must be up there with them, even though the league table doesn’t reflect that at the moment.

“You could say it’s two form teams meeting each other, so I’d like to think we’ll be confident. Our away form has been decent recently, but we know we’re going to be tested.

“It’s a quick turnaround for us, it’s not ideal with their game being called off because of the fog on Tuesday, they might be a little bit fresher, but we’ll be fine come Saturday. I want us to look forward to it, and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t.”

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“We have to wait and see if what happened to them on Tuesday affects them,” he said. “It’s a strange one because physically they’ve not done so much running.

“Mentally you prepare for the game, it started for 10 minutes, got delayed, delayed again, all of that isn’t a great place to be. That was a big game, Mansfield had been flying as well, there was a lot of hype around that game.

“You could say we’re in a good place because we played on Tuesday, we’re fit, match fit, but when you think about it I don’t think it will have too much of a bearing on the game on Saturday.”

United are enjoying a run of five league games unbeaten, with four clean sheets included, a signal of the confidence now embedded within the squad.

“I’m expecting us to go there and perform like we have done,” he commented. “There’s a consistency to what we’ve been doing for a while.

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“The clean sheets are there because there’s definitely an understanding of the principles of how we defend as a team. I think the team have bought into the defending, the frontmen have to do a lot of work defensively, it’s not just the back four, it’s all the units.

“When we stay compact as a team we look very hard to break down. That’s brilliant for the players, for me, it gives you confidence you can stay in games at times.

“We’ve got to keep doing that, and it will be a real test on Saturday because they’re a very attacking team that are full of confidence, that have got that arrogance if you like to say we are top of the league, and they go for it.

“We’ve got to be ready for that but we’ve been solid and we make it hard for the opposition. Our last two away performances were big games for different reasons, and we came out on top in them.

“We’ll be fine as far as our attitude and readiness for the game, and then we need to make sure when we do win the ball that we take more care of it, otherwise you can get pinned back in your own half against these teams.

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“We have to make sure that when we do win the ball we take more care. If we do, with what we’ve got up front, we can cause any team problems. The key to the result of the game will be how effective we can be when we win the ball.”

“I’ve looked at a lot of the teams that go there and play against them, and they change and try to match up against them,” he continued. “I understand that, I’ve done that before in my career, sometimes you do that.

“Normally you find when a team’s top of the league and have a certain way of playing, and you try to match them up, they’re normally better at it because they’ve been doing it all season.

“I don’t think Forest Green change their shape for any of their games, because they’ve got that belief.

“We’ve got belief in what we’re doing, and I will tweak it how I see necessary to try and combat what they do, but still try and keep an identity to what we’re doing, I think that’s really important.

“Since I’ve been here that’s what we’ve done, and we’ll do the same on Saturday. The league table doesn’t lie, the stats don’t lie, and the amount of goals they’ve scored means that they’re doing something right.

“I’m not that arrogant or think we’re that good that we can just go there and say ‘this is us’ and we’re just going to play our game. I wouldn’t be silly enough to do that.

“I’ve watched them, I like doing that, I like seeing what they do tactically, and obviously I can pass that on to our players.

“I always look at what the other team does, and where I feel we can punish them, and hopefully we can make it tough for them.”


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