"It was important to get three points," says Millington after Town beat Gateshead

Chris MillingtonChris Millington
Chris Millington
Town boss Chris Millington praised his team's concentration, hard work and determination after their 2-0 win over Gateshead.

Mani Dierseruvwe's first two goals for The Shaymen earned them only their second win of the season.

"I'm pleased for the lads they've got the result I believe they deserved," Millington said.

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"I think to a man they've worked tirelessly and really effectively to earn themselves the three points, so I'm pleased for them and delighted for the fans.

"They've been fantastic with us over recent weeks and some challenging times, so I'm just pleased they've got something to celebrate tonight."

When asked how much his side needed the victory given their poor start to the season, Millington said: "We needed the performance, the result is somewhat less important but I think given where we're at and the number of games into the season we are, it was important to get three points tonight.

"So yeah, that was important but for me it always comes back to the performance.

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"What we were looking to try and do was extend those periods of control within the game.

"We've seen it in most games so far this season, we've had periods of control in and out of possession, but they've not been long enough and we've allowed teams to take the lead in games when we shouldn't have.

"So the pleasing thing tonight was that we managed to do that, we controlled them when they were having a spell early on, and as the game wore on, we started to build on that."

Halifax put in an improved performance after the interval following an uninspiring first-half.

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"We've got to remember that games are rarely won in the first-half," Millington said.

"Against a good team like Gateshead, who are very effective at what they do, they've got some really good rotations in midfield, they look to build from the back, they want to open you up so they can work the ball in behind your defence, and they will hurt teams over and over again this season.

"I've got no doubt they'll be a top-half team come the end of the season.

"So we've got to remember we have to pay them the respect they're due for what they're good at.

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"We know that as the game goes on, it becomes much harder because fatigue sets in, substitutions are made, the ebb and flow of the game start to affect their ability to rotate and move the ball quite as sharply.

"So we have to acknowledge that, for a period of the game, we might have to just be really controlled out of possession and make sure we take the sting out of some of the good-possession teams' possession.

"We knew that tonight. That was what we tried to do against Notts County, we did it effectively for 40 minutes and then fell behind.

"We controlled Gateshead in the first-half, even though we didn't have as much possession, and as the game went on we looked to counter as their passing became a bit ragged and not quite as slick, as it always does as the game goes on.

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"Because of the players' concentration, hard work and determination, the game plan worked.

"But sometimes we are going to concede that the opposition are good at some aspects of the game and we have to respect that and try and deal with it as best we can."

Both Town's goals stemmed from errors at the back by Gateshead, but Millington praised his team's efforts in forcing the mistakes.

"We've invited them into that, that was our game plan," he said.

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"If you ask the lads, I'd hope they'd recognise that that was the intention all along, to keep inviting them to play out.

"We knew that Angelo was going to cause them a problem in terms of his pressing, Matty Warburton's available to go and nick possession when it goes into midfield and Jack Hunter and Harvey Gilmour are there to do the same job.

"It was the plan to invite them to keep playing, because when they do that they're wide open, if you win it back the two centre-halves are split so wide that there's a gaping hole to go straight through the middle of them.

"So some people will view that as mistakes, but those in our changing room know that was by design."

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On Dierseruvwe, Millington said: "He deserves it. He was so frustrated after the Maidenhead game because he knows he's here to score goals, that's why he's come, that's why we signed him.

"We don't just look at that part of his game because he does so much more for the team, his hold up play, his work ethic, his willingness to go to war with centre-halves, to try and retain possession for us.

"We've also got to remember his ability when the ball comes into his feet because he's got great feet.

"He will cause teams many different types of problems, so we recognise the contribution he makes to the team.

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"But it's vitally important for him as a striker to be scoring for his confidence and also for the fans to see him contributing and weighing in with goals, so I'm delighted for him."

Midfielder Kian Spence started on the bench for Town, coming on in the second-half.

"We felt we were coming into the game off the back of two fairly positive results and the lads who'd earned us the Maidenhead result deserved an opportunity to back it up," Millington said.

"We're blessed this year with a really strong squad and I'm very confident that anyone coming into the starting 11 or coming onto the bench is here to do a job, they're not just making up the numbers."

Read more from the Town boss in Thursday's Courier and on the Courier website later this week.

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