Before the interview Chris wanted to address the situation at the King Power stadium on Saturday night and says from himself and the club as a whole, the thought and prayers of Millwall Lionesses football club are with Leicester City and anyone affected by the situation.
After last week Chris wanted his side to start on the front foot and did so in the opening minutes but slammed his sides reaction to going a goal behind. "I don’t think it started slow, within the first minute of the game we have had 5 corners I believe. So I don’t think we have started slow today up until the first goal went in when a sloppy clearance and a deflection in their favour sees them lead. We spoke about it last week Harry, it’s about that 5 minutes after and again we haven’t done well in that period. So for me, that’s where we need to improve."
Gabby was on the bench to start with before coming on at half time, Chris says Gabby had the flu, hence the reason for her not starting. "Gabby has had the flu this week and has missed two of the 3 sessions due to it so it wasn’t anything tactical or anything she had done wrong it was just the fact she was struggling."
Natural to have a bad run, picking it up for Villa.
It's always natural for a team to start so slow and have bad runs but Chris believes things will change. "Yeah of course, what’s frustrating for me personally is we have had a really good week in training, the energy and effort that the girls brought to each session was outstanding and it’s frustrating because with all that effort we have no reward come match day."
Millwall haven't scored in their last two but Chris is not concerned by this. "Not really no, the team are still learning, we are still trying to work on certain concepts, there was things on the pitch today I saw that we had been trying in training but we’ve got to learn how to build and progress as a team in the final third and goals will then follow."
Leanne came back after a injury and played the first 45, Chris said it was part of her rehab to not play the whole game to ensure she is in shape for Villa. "It was part of her rehab, the medical staff said to give her 45. Leanne was of course frustrated which shows she is ready but it wasn’t worth the risk today and will allow her to be fresher for Villa. If something had happened in the second half we could of lost her for another 10-15 games."
While its been a tough run for Millwall, Chris believes this is a mental test for the players, especially the younger ones. "Yes that’s right. You have to check yourself and remember what the age of my team is, this is a lot of their first experiences in first team football, so every experience will be a learning period. I spoke to Mary Phillips previously who was of course part of the successful Lionesses side but to get there she admitted they went through a tough season like we are going through at the moment. Mary said it will teach the girls the value of winning because a lot of these girls have only ever players youth football, I call it fake football if you know what I mean by that but they will play at youth level win 6/7-0 then do the same with the international team. In the first team frame to pick up victories it’s going to take a lot more effort than what they have been used to."
Chris believes in the sides current training plan and says it will click eventually. "Like I said, we are working on 3-4 basic concepts at the moment in training and I saw the girls picking it up and understand it, it may take some a few weeks to transfer this onto matchday but these players will work and at some point our luck has to change."
Games don't get any easier with Manchester United next month but Chris is taking it one game at a time. "Let’s face it, playing Manchester United is like playing a first division side.because I think we all agree they should be up there. It’s of course going to be tough but we’ve splayed Super League opposition in West Ham and while it didn’t go how we planned, the girls put a good performance in but for now we have Villa and let’s concentrate on that."
Chris knows it will be hard but building and moving on from these wo defeats is crucial. "We’ve laid out some concepts for the girls and we will keep working on those and I’m a firm believer that f they keep doing the right things right the results will take care of themselves. It may take a few weeks but results will ten eventually."
Finally Chris admitted that the dressing room atmosphere was very down but was to be expected however believes the group are a positive bunch and will go again to mend this run. "They’re down of course, it’s the second week in a row this has happened and I wouldn’t expect it to be any different however like I said Tuesday they brought a good vibe to training and I’m sure the girls will do the same again."