MK Dons assistant Millen reflects on brief spell at Blackpool

Millen worked at Blackpool back in 2012
Millen worked at Blackpool back in 2012

MK Dons’ assistant manager Keith Millen expects the off-the-field problems at Blackpool to have created a siege mentality among the club’s players.

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Millen is now assistant manager at MK Dons

Millen is now assistant manager at MK Dons

Millen experienced the well-documented issues at Bloomfield Road first-hand having briefly worked under Ian Holloway back in 2012.

The 51-year-old reflected on his time on the Fylde coast ahead of this weekend’s meeting between the two sides.

He said: “It was always interesting working for Ian Holloway - he's full of energy and you never know from one day to the next what he was going to do.

“It was tough but the environment brought the group together because it felt like us against the world.

“Ian was very good at playing on that too and we had a few good seasons there. I didn't particularly enjoy living that far north but I enjoyed the footballing side of it.

“The off-the-field issues are difficult, but it's not just Blackpool.

“You look at West Ham and all the stuff happening off the field there - as a manager or coach, your job is to keep the players focused. You can't control anything outside.

“You can use it as a positive, but it can drag you down.

“Blackpool fans have been protesting and not going to games so they've lost the atmosphere, and that's not great for the home team, but they'll have a siege mentality on the field and will try not to let it bother them on the field.”

MK Dons currently sit inside League One’s relegation zone, two points from safety.

Blackpool, meanwhile, are 15th and six points clear of the bottom four.

“Gary has done a great job there,” Millen added.

“The fans have been in dispute with the club, but Gary has kept the players quite focused.

“They are reasonably safe, but not safe yet.

“They're a decent footballing side, and I'm sure they'll look to coming here to enjoy themselves. But we can't let them do that.

“One thing we keep saying is how fantastic the surroundings are here, but the opposition will come here and think they want to play. It's down to us.”