Interview : Russell Slade : 05/08/2006
Russell Slade's post-match view of the 1-1 draw at Millwall
Russell Slade
Russell Slade
Photo © 2019

Yeovil boss Russell Slade gave his view on the 1-1 draw at Millwall at The Den to the press after the game on August 5th 2006. Russell asked the following questions:

Qu: Russell are you pleased that you played so well here this afternoon or disappointed that you couldn't hold on towards the end of the game?

RS: I think that when you are 1-0 up with very little time left, it is always a bit disappointing. Overall I am pleased with the performance. I thought the first 10 minutes were a bit frantic. I thought we settled down and played some enterprising football and created three or four good chances in the first period and I thought we were well worth our 1-0 lead at half time. Just before half time (Millwall manager) Nigel (Spackman) has changed it about a little bit by bringing Neal Ardley on and sometimes we didn't cope with that as much as I would have liked during the second half.

Having said that we gave the goal away in many ways, because we had good possession on the halfway line before we gave the ball away and the ball went left and then into the box. Then probably for only the second time in the game - there was one a little bit earlier - we'd left him (Darren Byfield) unmarked and we got punished.

Qu: You were very much the better side and Millwall improved after the break. What changed? Was it that sub or was it more than that?

RS: I don't know. Millwall got their tails up a little bit. I think Nigel would have been perhaps disappointed with the first half and we expected a little bit of a backlash maybe for 20 minutes and for them to come at us. You expect that, with Milwall being the home side and they did. They caused us more problems and they threw more bodies forward in the second period and tried to make things happen. From my point of view it was important to defend well, be resolute and look to hit Millwall on the counter-attack, which we nearly did on a couple of occasions and Kevin James came very close when he came on. That would have been the best goal of the game I think and probably goal of the season with the volley!

Qu: Wayne Gray scored a debut goal for you and you must be especially pleased because he missed a good chance a few moments before that. But he recovered and scored his first goal for you this season.

RS: Yes, he missed a good opportunity with his head but the one he scored was a typical Wayne Gray goal - seven and a half yards out and it has gone in off his shin. He has not hit it clean but it was in the back of the net. So I am really pleased for him. But I am pleased for everyone because the attitude of my players in pre-season and the application that they've shown was taken onto the pitch today.

Qu: And it's to your credit the Yeovil fans were probably disappointed to get a draw against a side who are probably going to be up there or thereabouts at the end of the season. What did you make of the equaliser?

RS: Obviously it was a good header, but I was disappointed with the marking and the fact that they got back in the game. Having said that, they were probing forward. I think what you've got to realise with Millwall is that they've got a lot of new players in and it takes a little bit of time. It does not happen overnight - Rome wasn't built in a day. Nigel (Spackman) knows that and it will take time. You saw a different Millwall side in the second period.

Qu: You've already mentioned positives - what in particular impressed you about your side's performance today?

RS: Just that they stuck to the game plan. They tried to do their jobs individually and collectively and they did them well and at the same time we still remained a threat going forward. It is very very difficult to pick out just one single performance. But there were some encouraging signs for me. It is only the first game and it is early days. It is nice to get off the mark with at least a point.

Qu: What would you like to see improved before the home game against Bournemouth on Tuesday?

RS: There are lots of things that we will hopefully take onto the training ground. Unfortunately we only really have 24 hours to work on it, but we will work at it before the visit of Bournemouth on Tuesday. Hopefully we can try and register our first win.

Qu: Your first game in charge of Yeovil Town - any early impressions of the squad you have inherited?

RS: Well I've not inherited all of them have I? Obviously I have inherited some of them and I have brought in some new faces as well. The important thing for me was to get those old and new faces to gel together. We have a terrific team spirit and you saw today that they have worked exceptionally hard for each other and that is a good basis to move forward on.

Qu: Steve Mildenhall made an outstanding save. He seemed to be going the wrong way but just stuck a hand out.

RS: Yes, it was and that is why I brought him to the football club. Sometimes keepers have a long period when they are out of the game and are required to make an important save. Mildy going down to his left-hand side was a great save and he has done that on a lot of occasions for me.

Qu: You spoke about wanting to get a lot of pace into the centre of defence and you could see why today. Darren Byfield is quick but Terrell Forbes more than matched him every time and in those one-on-one breaks he showed why you brought him to the club.

RS: Yes, I thought Forbes had a terrific game.

Qu: What did you think of Kevin James?

RS: Kevin James is an outlet. He has a little bit of pace and you saw he got himself into a couple of good positions and he nearly scored. If he had hit the target, we might have got an opportunity in the last minute of the game. He did OK and he became a bit of an outlet for us on that side.

Qu: Bearing in mind that Millwall were a Championship team last season, were you surprised at how in command your team were for most of the game?

RS: Well I believe in what I am doing and I believe in my team. I told them that at 12.30 today in a meeting and sometimes that is what it is about. It is about a little bit of belief and a mental strength to go out there and carry on the things and the instructions that we have worked hard on in pre-season. We moved the ball about and as I've said there was some enterprising football that resulted in one or two great opportunities, which perhaps we squandered in the first period.

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Other Resources
Next Interview : 10/08/2006 : Lee Morris talks to BBC Bristol about his injuries and arrival at Yeovil
Previous Interview : 29/07/2006 : Russell Slade talks to BBC Radio Bristol prior to the Weymouth friendly
Index : Main Interview Index


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