"We're acquitting ourselves quite well" - So far, so good says Town boss Millington ahead of Bank Holiday Monday's game with Gateshead

Town manager Chris Millington says he is happy with his team's start to the season ahead of their final game of the opening month.
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Halifax round off August against Gateshead on Bank Holiday Monday, with eight points from their first five games, seven more than they had at this stage last season.

"Regardless of Monday I think we've started well," Millington told the Courier.

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"Obviously there's disappointment in drawing with Oxford but then that's balanced off by beating Oldham away, which not many teams will do.

Chris MillingtonChris Millington
Chris Millington

"Let's see how Solihull do there on Monday.

"So there's a mixture of feelings and emotions around it but with what's been one of the tougher starts when you compare it with other clubs, I think so far we're acquitting ourselves quite well and once we're out of August and into September then we'll really start to see how good the start in August has been."

Millington has no major concerns around the quick turnaround from Friday night's 1-1 draw at Solihull Moors.

"It's no different from a Saturday-Tuesday for us because we were able to, with the co-operation of Solihull, move that fixture to the Friday," he said.

"So the tight turnaround isn't massively unusual.

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"Clearly the lads have put a right shift in at Solihull, we're five games in now and we need to make sure that we don't suffer any more unnecessary injuries.

"Tactically I think the lads who played at Solihull could certainly cope with what Gateshead will throw at us but physically we might have to make one or two changes just to keep it fresh."

Millington says he will not be judging how good the draw at Solihull was in relation to whether his side beat Gateshead or not.

"I wouldn't attach that result to another because Solihull are flying high and when we went there last season, it was similar, we put an end to an incredibly strong run they'd had over 12 months at home, and they were flying high in the league back then," he said.

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"We've gone to a team who are on a good run, right at the top end of the division and competed incredibly well and come away with a point, and could easily have been three.

"We've got to look at that in isolation and say 'that's a decent point' even though we'd have liked it to have been three."

Town beat Gateshead in last season's FA Trophy final at Wembley, but Millington says The Heed have evolved as a team since then.

"I'd say they're better, I think they're controlling possession even more, they're moving the ball incredibly well," he said.

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"But likewise, if you're talking about styles of teams, our combative, organised, hard-working style is even better as well, and we've got more athleticism, so any mistakes they make with their possession we can punish them with our athleticism and our ability to counter very quickly.

"You saw that at the end where we've countered from one end of the pitch to the other and but for an important save we'd have won the game."

Millington wants his side to play consistently for the full 90 minutes after a couple of patchy displays against Oxford and Solihull.

"I think it's a challenge for any team to play as well as we did in the second-half (at Solihull) for 90 minutes, I don't know there's a team outside the Premier League capable of doing that," he said.

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"What we've got to do is make sure that when we have a spell where we're not in control of the game, like we did in the middle of the first-half, that we don't go quite as ragged as we did and we see it out better without conceding.

"That's an area for us to focus on, but if a team like Solihull can only score one goal against us then we must be doing quite a lot right, and I've got to try and balance off some of my desire for perfection with reality."