League Two learning curve for ‘gutted’ York City boss Gary Mills

Gary Mills

Gary Mills

Published in Sport York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

YORK City manager Gary Mills admitted his team are still learning about npower League Two football after Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Exeter.

The Minstermen went behind following Alex Rodman’s spectacular own goal and, after levelling through Michael Potts, succumbed to Jimmy Keohane’s 54th-minute winning strike.

Mills, though, felt his team were unlucky to lose the game and added that there is still room for improvement.

“I was disappointed because I didn’t think we deserved to lose,” the City boss said. “I was gutted to go in 1-1 at half-time because we were superb in the first half.

“They pressed us a bit more in the second half and we possibly did not deal with that as well as we could have done but there is such a thin dividing line between picking up a result or not. We’re playing at a level where you need a bit of quality to kill off teams and win games.

“When you’re not switched on and make mistakes, you get punished as well and that’s happened to us quite a few times this season. But it’s our first year back in the League and we have to learn from every game and keep progressing.

“Exeter are another team that have beaten us but were they better than us? Everybody will have their opinions, but I was really pleased with my team’s performance and have been all season. Every team we have played know they’ve been in a tough match.”

Mills did not have a clear view when Rodman put though his own net but held Jamal Fyfield culpable for the second goal, going on to replace him with Lanre Oyebanjo.

The City chief added: “I was a bit blinded for the first goal so did not really see what happened but I was disappointed with Jamal for the second goal.

“It was a difficult ball from Scott Kerr, but he should not have let them in to score a goal from there.”

Rodman has now been recruited from Aldershot after the expiry of his loan spell from the Hampshire club, but Mills is still keen to strengthen his attacking options further during the transfer window.

“We’ve taken Alex Rodman until the end of the season,” Mills revealed. “We are in a situation where we will be without Ashley Chambers for four to six weeks and probably won’t see Michael Coulson again this season.

“Oli Johnson will be back in training and has got to start giving us something now because he’s given us nothing yet due to being injured.

“John McReady will also play in a game tomorrow night but I need to bring in another wide striker because we are short in that area at the moment.” Tomorrow’s game is a North Riding Senior Cup quarter-final clash with Northallerton Town at Bootham Crescent (7.45pm kick off).

Teenager Tom Allan, meanwhile, was given a third senior outing as a substitute – this time operating as a left-back rather than in the centre of defence, where Mills believes his long-tem future lies.

“Tom’s a big lad who’s got good feet and, while centre-half will be his main position, he will get the chance to play at left-back when needed as well,” Mills explained.

Comments (23)

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12:44pm Mon 7 Jan 13

Theapplesarecoming says...

I like rodman he seems to genuinely care about the team and was a victim of his own effort on Saturday with the own goal , think I'm coming to the match tomorrow £3 entry I've been told so worth a look!

Waiting eagerly for news on transfers to york however think we have a good team and the only difference between a win and a lose is whether we have a good or bad day which all teams have

We certainly are not short of skill and although it doesn't work all the time the passing game we play is great to watch

We seem to be alternating between pass and hoof ball and its nice to see york becoming slightly more adaptable , the Exeter game could have gone ether way and even though we lost it doesn't matter!

We played well mostly apart from a few moments in the second half when we seemed to tire a little and that's what counts,
I like rodman he seems to genuinely care about the team and was a victim of his own effort on Saturday with the own goal , think I'm coming to the match tomorrow £3 entry I've been told so worth a look! Waiting eagerly for news on transfers to york however think we have a good team and the only difference between a win and a lose is whether we have a good or bad day which all teams have We certainly are not short of skill and although it doesn't work all the time the passing game we play is great to watch We seem to be alternating between pass and hoof ball and its nice to see york becoming slightly more adaptable , the Exeter game could have gone ether way and even though we lost it doesn't matter! We played well mostly apart from a few moments in the second half when we seemed to tire a little and that's what counts, Theapplesarecoming
  • Score: 0

1:00pm Mon 7 Jan 13

PhilTopping says...

Wish Mills hadn't used the "learning curve" metaphor. An unpleasant reminder of the Chris Brass era.

I think blaming Fyfield for the second goal is a total cop out. He was as culpable as the rest of the defence and Ingham, in particular, should have been mentioned in the same breath as Mr Fyfield. When Mills looks at the first goal he will note Mr Smith's contribution. Either mention every culpable player when they make a critical mistake, or no-one.
Wish Mills hadn't used the "learning curve" metaphor. An unpleasant reminder of the Chris Brass era. I think blaming Fyfield for the second goal is a total cop out. He was as culpable as the rest of the defence and Ingham, in particular, should have been mentioned in the same breath as Mr Fyfield. When Mills looks at the first goal he will note Mr Smith's contribution. Either mention every culpable player when they make a critical mistake, or no-one. PhilTopping
  • Score: 0

1:23pm Mon 7 Jan 13

rogue84 says...

Phil I know what u are getting at, but it's not quite the same situation as with Brass.
A lot of these players at the club now don't have much experience of playing in the football league, and we can all admit it's been a tough lesson so far. the idea most of us had (including me!), that there's no difference between the top of the conf and the bottom of league 2 has proved to be a fanciful theory.
Over the next few years i think we'll see a large reduction in teams like Yeovil, Stevenage etc storming through consecutive promotions and i think getting out of the conference when we did may well prove to be absolutely vital.
I'm hoping that we may be doing what a lot of promoted sides do, get up, stay up with as many players from the previous year as you can....and have a bit more of a financial injection in the summer.
Phil I know what u are getting at, but it's not quite the same situation as with Brass. A lot of these players at the club now don't have much experience of playing in the football league, and we can all admit it's been a tough lesson so far. the idea most of us had (including me!), that there's no difference between the top of the conf and the bottom of league 2 has proved to be a fanciful theory. Over the next few years i think we'll see a large reduction in teams like Yeovil, Stevenage etc storming through consecutive promotions and i think getting out of the conference when we did may well prove to be absolutely vital. I'm hoping that we may be doing what a lot of promoted sides do, get up, stay up with as many players from the previous year as you can....and have a bit more of a financial injection in the summer. rogue84
  • Score: 0

1:47pm Mon 7 Jan 13

old_school_minsterman says...

Time for a 'Plan B' Mr Mills. What happened last season when our neat, compact football did not work? We got beat. What happens this season? We get beat.

Once teams work us out, give us little time on the ball and close us down then our football goes to pieces. This is why we usually start well, have a decent first half then get hustled in the second half of matches.

We need to have the game sewn up at half time in order to hold on!

Most of our attacking players are too similar - lightweight, quick and not overly tall. Once opposition come to terms with this then there is very little for them to worry about and no decent alternatives on the bench who can change the course of a match.
Time for a 'Plan B' Mr Mills. What happened last season when our neat, compact football did not work? We got beat. What happens this season? We get beat. Once teams work us out, give us little time on the ball and close us down then our football goes to pieces. This is why we usually start well, have a decent first half then get hustled in the second half of matches. We need to have the game sewn up at half time in order to hold on! Most of our attacking players are too similar - lightweight, quick and not overly tall. Once opposition come to terms with this then there is very little for them to worry about and no decent alternatives on the bench who can change the course of a match. old_school_minsterman
  • Score: 0

2:00pm Mon 7 Jan 13

openallhours says...

Is it me, or does Mills always blame somebody else for his mistakes.

I don't think I've ever heard him say 'I got it wrong' or 'maybe I could have picked a different team'.

As I've said before, let's hope that we have a good transfer window in order to make further progress.
Is it me, or does Mills always blame somebody else for his mistakes. I don't think I've ever heard him say 'I got it wrong' or 'maybe I could have picked a different team'. As I've said before, let's hope that we have a good transfer window in order to make further progress. openallhours
  • Score: 0

2:02pm Mon 7 Jan 13

Robert Davro says...

I blame Kerr for their winner. You don't play those types of balls in that position. Should have gone forward with it. He had a poor second half. Oh well. You win some, you lose some - that'll be our season - and that suits me as long as we stay up.
I blame Kerr for their winner. You don't play those types of balls in that position. Should have gone forward with it. He had a poor second half. Oh well. You win some, you lose some - that'll be our season - and that suits me as long as we stay up. Robert Davro
  • Score: 0

2:09pm Mon 7 Jan 13

Pitbull Terry says...

I have to agree with Gary that we deserved something from the game but we continue to show our class for only half a match. It is becoming a regular occurrence of late. I'm afraid Scott Kerr has to take much of the blame for the 2 goals we conceded. He gave the ball away in midfield for the first and the pass to Fyfield, square across in front of our 18 yard box with the Exeter forwards pressing, was a dangerous pass and very difficult for Fyfield to control. Scott Kerr is a good player and very influential to the way we play so he will be gutted with the mistakes he made. We need to bounce back at Cheltenham
I have to agree with Gary that we deserved something from the game but we continue to show our class for only half a match. It is becoming a regular occurrence of late. I'm afraid Scott Kerr has to take much of the blame for the 2 goals we conceded. He gave the ball away in midfield for the first and the pass to Fyfield, square across in front of our 18 yard box with the Exeter forwards pressing, was a dangerous pass and very difficult for Fyfield to control. Scott Kerr is a good player and very influential to the way we play so he will be gutted with the mistakes he made. We need to bounce back at Cheltenham Pitbull Terry
  • Score: 0

4:16pm Mon 7 Jan 13

yorkiemike says...

Very unfair of GM to single out Jamal.O.K he wasn`t having a good game by his standards but they had two players on him for most of the time and we didn`t cover this.
For me Fyfield has been outstanding in recent games but seldom gets the credit.He`s still a young player but has tremendous potential,very fast and an excellent crosser of the ball.I`d like to see him up front on the left but we haven`t anyone else to fill the left back role.
I don`t think GM should have played Walker on Sat so soon after illness.Reed should have been up front at the start,a position he prefers,and Walker on the bench.
I found the substitions a little odd,I like Banjo,but at left back??Challinor would have been a better bet there if he insisted on taking Jamal off.
History now, on to Cheltenham,and as somebody said ,let`s hope Everton knacker them!
Very unfair of GM to single out Jamal.O.K he wasn`t having a good game by his standards but they had two players on him for most of the time and we didn`t cover this. For me Fyfield has been outstanding in recent games but seldom gets the credit.He`s still a young player but has tremendous potential,very fast and an excellent crosser of the ball.I`d like to see him up front on the left but we haven`t anyone else to fill the left back role. I don`t think GM should have played Walker on Sat so soon after illness.Reed should have been up front at the start,a position he prefers,and Walker on the bench. I found the substitions a little odd,I like Banjo,but at left back??Challinor would have been a better bet there if he insisted on taking Jamal off. History now, on to Cheltenham,and as somebody said ,let`s hope Everton knacker them! yorkiemike
  • Score: 0

5:23pm Mon 7 Jan 13

David York says...

I share the view that the criticism of Fyfield is unfair. If individual blame is to be apportioned then Kerr must take thevlion's share.

I seem to recall Mills saying earlier in the season that a difference between Conference and League was that mistakes are so often punished in the League.

But there are positives to be drawn from Saturday. City's ability to spring a defence by a quick turn is impressive.

One lesson that might be learnt from Saturday is that reverting to a long ball game is unlikely to bring success.
I share the view that the criticism of Fyfield is unfair. If individual blame is to be apportioned then Kerr must take thevlion's share. I seem to recall Mills saying earlier in the season that a difference between Conference and League was that mistakes are so often punished in the League. But there are positives to be drawn from Saturday. City's ability to spring a defence by a quick turn is impressive. One lesson that might be learnt from Saturday is that reverting to a long ball game is unlikely to bring success. David York
  • Score: 0

7:15pm Mon 7 Jan 13

daveymcgurk says...

paul benson and craig beattie rumours on various sites which include their respective club forums!
anyone else heard this?
paul benson and craig beattie rumours on various sites which include their respective club forums! anyone else heard this? daveymcgurk
  • Score: 0

7:20pm Mon 7 Jan 13

daveymcgurk says...

lee hughes contract terminated at notts county,free to find another club!
thoughts?
lee hughes contract terminated at notts county,free to find another club! thoughts? daveymcgurk
  • Score: 0

7:21pm Mon 7 Jan 13

duffy says...

daveymcgurk wrote:
lee hughes contract terminated at notts county,free to find another club!
thoughts?
Port Vale can confirm that the club is in discussions to sign Lee Hughes. He will have a medical tomorrow with a view to joining #pvfc
[quote][p][bold]daveymcgurk[/bold] wrote: lee hughes contract terminated at notts county,free to find another club! thoughts?[/p][/quote]Port Vale can confirm that the club is in discussions to sign Lee Hughes. He will have a medical tomorrow with a view to joining #pvfc duffy
  • Score: 0

7:25pm Mon 7 Jan 13

daveymcgurk says...

heard that aswell duffy,isnt it just typical that we desperatley need a frontman where as vale have plenty of strikers.
heard that aswell duffy,isnt it just typical that we desperatley need a frontman where as vale have plenty of strikers. daveymcgurk
  • Score: 0

7:38pm Mon 7 Jan 13

duffy says...

daveymcgurk wrote:
heard that aswell duffy,isnt it just typical that we desperatley need a frontman where as vale have plenty of strikers.
It's getting more and more obvious we can't compete with the bigger teams at this level for the better known players, maybe not a bad thing as just about all the best players we ever had came without any type of fanfare. Rumour that the Kearns transfer to Bradford has broken down though.
[quote][p][bold]daveymcgurk[/bold] wrote: heard that aswell duffy,isnt it just typical that we desperatley need a frontman where as vale have plenty of strikers.[/p][/quote]It's getting more and more obvious we can't compete with the bigger teams at this level for the better known players, maybe not a bad thing as just about all the best players we ever had came without any type of fanfare. Rumour that the Kearns transfer to Bradford has broken down though. duffy
  • Score: 0

7:45pm Mon 7 Jan 13

daveymcgurk says...

yeah heard that from a mate who is a bradford fan,he also said that rotherham are still sniffing around!
still think blanchett,bullock and johnson should be off loaded as they are in my opinion deadwood.
i like reed very much but feel sorry for him that he doesnt get much of a look in due to not being in gary`s plans.
reedy deserves to be playing week in week out which i would wish him well if he was to move on.
yeah heard that from a mate who is a bradford fan,he also said that rotherham are still sniffing around! still think blanchett,bullock and johnson should be off loaded as they are in my opinion deadwood. i like reed very much but feel sorry for him that he doesnt get much of a look in due to not being in gary`s plans. reedy deserves to be playing week in week out which i would wish him well if he was to move on. daveymcgurk
  • Score: 0

7:55pm Mon 7 Jan 13

YO1 says...

It's certainly becoming apparent that despite our longstanding need for additional firepower up front, we are no closer to bringing anyone in.

A couple of games ago, Alex Rodman was deemed not to have done enough, now he is signed for the rest of the season. I hope this January doesn't end up panic buying season like last year.

Heard rumours that a prolific 6ft 3 left footed striker wanted to join us. Still annoyed about that, Brodie would have put another 200 on the gate on Saturday. Fair enough, if we've got better options but it looks more like indecision/ apathy from GM rather choice.
It's certainly becoming apparent that despite our longstanding need for additional firepower up front, we are no closer to bringing anyone in. A couple of games ago, Alex Rodman was deemed not to have done enough, now he is signed for the rest of the season. I hope this January doesn't end up panic buying season like last year. Heard rumours that a prolific 6ft 3 left footed striker wanted to join us. Still annoyed about that, Brodie would have put another 200 on the gate on Saturday. Fair enough, if we've got better options but it looks more like indecision/ apathy from GM rather choice. YO1
  • Score: 0

8:16pm Mon 7 Jan 13

dazthecat says...

openallhours wrote:
Is it me, or does Mills always blame somebody else for his mistakes.

I don't think I've ever heard him say 'I got it wrong' or 'maybe I could have picked a different team'.

As I've said before, let's hope that we have a good transfer window in order to make further progress.
I'm completely behind Mills but I would have to agree with you there. Fyfield was targeted by Exeter in the second half and he didn't change anything to help him out. Granted Kerr could've stopped with the balls out to him, but I think Mills could've seen this and intervened. Singling Jamal out in public seems harsh to me
[quote][p][bold]openallhours[/bold] wrote: Is it me, or does Mills always blame somebody else for his mistakes. I don't think I've ever heard him say 'I got it wrong' or 'maybe I could have picked a different team'. As I've said before, let's hope that we have a good transfer window in order to make further progress.[/p][/quote]I'm completely behind Mills but I would have to agree with you there. Fyfield was targeted by Exeter in the second half and he didn't change anything to help him out. Granted Kerr could've stopped with the balls out to him, but I think Mills could've seen this and intervened. Singling Jamal out in public seems harsh to me dazthecat
  • Score: 0

10:09pm Mon 7 Jan 13

dangermoose says...

James Meredith had never been replaced I'm afraid - fact.

Fyfield is too weak to be a decent defender at this level or the level below.

Blanchett was a panic signing because Millsy didn't think Jamal was up to it. Now we have two left backs and neither can defend.

In short we need a strong left back and a striker for sure. Possibly another centre back too.

What we will get is another powder puff left winger!
James Meredith had never been replaced I'm afraid - fact. Fyfield is too weak to be a decent defender at this level or the level below. Blanchett was a panic signing because Millsy didn't think Jamal was up to it. Now we have two left backs and neither can defend. In short we need a strong left back and a striker for sure. Possibly another centre back too. What we will get is another powder puff left winger! dangermoose
  • Score: 0

10:21pm Mon 7 Jan 13

king-albert says...

dangermoose wrote:
James Meredith had never been replaced I'm afraid - fact.

Fyfield is too weak to be a decent defender at this level or the level below.

Blanchett was a panic signing because Millsy didn't think Jamal was up to it. Now we have two left backs and neither can defend.

In short we need a strong left back and a striker for sure. Possibly another centre back too.

What we will get is another powder puff left winger!
We`re all doomed!

Note to dangermoose - What does "fact" mean?
[quote][p][bold]dangermoose[/bold] wrote: James Meredith had never been replaced I'm afraid - fact. Fyfield is too weak to be a decent defender at this level or the level below. Blanchett was a panic signing because Millsy didn't think Jamal was up to it. Now we have two left backs and neither can defend. In short we need a strong left back and a striker for sure. Possibly another centre back too. What we will get is another powder puff left winger![/p][/quote]We`re all doomed! Note to dangermoose - What does "fact" mean? king-albert
  • Score: 0

10:57pm Mon 7 Jan 13

south bronx red 2 says...

It may be shakey now.
Wait til summer
It may be shakey now. Wait til summer south bronx red 2
  • Score: 0

11:09pm Mon 7 Jan 13

openallhours says...

daveymcgurk wrote:
lee hughes contract terminated at notts county,free to find another club!
thoughts?
Lee Hughes, the guy that killed a bloke and did a runner?

No thanks.
[quote][p][bold]daveymcgurk[/bold] wrote: lee hughes contract terminated at notts county,free to find another club! thoughts?[/p][/quote]Lee Hughes, the guy that killed a bloke and did a runner? No thanks. openallhours
  • Score: 0

12:30am Tue 8 Jan 13

GreenshawGrinder says...

The reason why teams come to Bootham Crescent and fancy their chances. The opposing manager probably takes a swift glance at the league table! Sixteen points from thirteen games. As Rafa would have said, FACT! The Crescent is not a fortress.
The reason why teams come to Bootham Crescent and fancy their chances. The opposing manager probably takes a swift glance at the league table! Sixteen points from thirteen games. As Rafa would have said, FACT! The Crescent is not a fortress. GreenshawGrinder
  • Score: 0

8:26am Wed 9 Jan 13

play up city says...

Allways gonnabe hard to make the transition i the first season. But if we keep batteling and hit midtable it cant b a bad season really can it
Allways gonnabe hard to make the transition i the first season. But if we keep batteling and hit midtable it cant b a bad season really can it play up city
  • Score: 0

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