YORK CITY SOUTH
Friday February 25, 2011: City are staying at The Bull Hotel in Gerrard’s Cross before the game at Hayes & Yeading the following afternoon.
As a schoolboy, he scored a goal for England at Wembley and a try for England at Twickenham in the same season
Aged 16, introduced to alcohol by Brian Clough at a Friday lunchtime team meeting . Despite his protestations, Clough made him drink a can of Guinness (which incidentally seems to remain his favoured drink to this day (he probably drinks it as slowly today as he did back then)). He made his top flight debut against Arsenal a day later
Training at Forest under Clough consisted of playing games and running. There was never any element of tactics or practising set plays
The run up to his European Cup win in 1980 consisted of a week in Majorca with the team, clubbing to 4 every morning and a beer in the hotel 3 hours before kick off
When he came back from England Under 21 duty, he made the fatal mistake of praising the quality of coaching in front of Clough
"The Damned United" portrayed Clough as a "desperate man" which he wasn’t
York – a great City. He brings his wife and Mum to the city and to games
Took all his players to Hayes bar the only one out through injury believing it was good for morale and inclusiveness.
His father played in all 4 divisions with Northampton in the 1960s.
His son was a promising rugby player whose career was cut short by injury
His daughter’s football career came to an abrupt end at 16 when she realised what a lot of the girls turned into as they moved out of girls football and into the women’s game
His biggest disappointment with City so far was losing at Bolton (so close after 83 minutes) and the 4-0 at Southport. "5-0 at Luton, you don’t dwell on it, these things sometimes happen, you just move on"
Frustrated by the fixture list, for example, no game for 11 days after the 4-1 AFC Wimbledon
Prefers to coach players to their strengths rather than trying to address their weakness
Doesn’t do scouting and match watching unless he’s there with a specific purpose
Likes watching Manchester United and Sunderland on TV, they play in the same 4-3-3 style that Mills prefers. He learns more from watching them on TV than a windy rainy night somewhere else
Revealed which player is a manager’s dream at City
Doesn’t believe in over complicating tactics and filling his player’s heads with dire warnings about the strength of the opposition
He’s honest with his players, if a player has a weakness , he’ll accept it and move on to his strengths
Believes he released the 2 youngsters (Jamie Hopcutt and Dean Lisles) within a month of arriving for their own good as they wouldn’t get a game at York, believing they needed to drop a level or 2 and play regularly to improve themselves and explained himself to their parents
Would like to sign 2 or 3 more on the pitch leaders in the mould of Chris Smith and Scott Kerr.
Cautious on City’s chances of the making the play offs
Having originally said he’d spend an hour with us, phone off, Gary Mills stayed for 2 hours talking openly with us. It was a 2 way discussion, with all questions answered in an open and frank way. From a far, he was criticised for releasing Lisle and Hopcutt, for this and for that. Spend some time in his company and its clear that he’s got a vision for the club and how he’ll use his style of management to put that vision into practice to improve our lot.
He departed to buy his backroom staff a drink and spend some time chatting with them and leaving us in the company of Nick Bassett.