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Millen | "I'd like to see a positive response"

Interim boss Keith Millen says he is aware of what is needed as he takes charge of Gillingham for the game against MK Dons.

6 October 2023

Keith Millen spoke to the media on Thursday ahead of Gills game against MK Dons at Priestfield.

Gillingham’s interim Head Coach, Keith Millen, said his ‘first-team head has come alive’ after taking the Gillingham hot seat ahead of this weekend’s clash with MK Dons.

Millen is no stranger to the caretaker role having been called upon no less than seven times throughout his career to guide teams when they have needed his knowledge and experience.

With few training sessions available to implement his strategy he says he will not be re-inventing the wheel but will definitely be making some adjustments as he plots to take all three points.

“I have been in this position before and I know what it takes to be an interim manager,” said Millen. “With where we are in the league, there are a lot of good things going on. I may need to tweak one or two things to win the game for us.

"I'm aware of what is needed to win games in League 2. There doesn't need to be drastic changes.

“I would like to think that we would get a positive reaction on Saturday. We want to be on the front-foot and show there is a desire within the changing room, I would like to think we will see that."

Millen paid tribute to departing Gills boss and says it came as a shock but has warned his players that they will now need to re-focus as the games continue to come thick and fast.

“I spoke to the players and, like always, the first day when this happens there is shock, and disappointment,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what I say to the players.

“As a manager, you build relationships with players. There will be disappointment, quite naturally, Neil is not only a good manager but a top bloke. I have been here seven months and I have been in and around the first team and got to know him well and that is the sad part of it.

“I think you have to give the players a 24-hour grieving window, they might not all be grieving, but you have to let them have that period and after that, they are professional footballers contracted to Gillingham Football Club.

“My job is not a physical thing, it will be a mental thing to try and get them into a positive mindset to perform well to try and win the game.

“I said to them, ‘What was your goal at the start of the season?’ They said promotion and I asked ‘Has that changed?’ They said, ‘No’.

"From a personal point of view I'd like to see a positive response. If we do that we are probably as good as anyone in this league.

"The atmosphere here is amazing and the fans have been great! If we show the right attitude they will get behind us, as they have done.”

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