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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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Pressure will not get to me, says returning Carlisle Utd striker Lee Miller

Lee Miller insists he can thrive under the weight of expectation when he returns to the Carlisle United side – but denies the Blues are a one-man team.

Lee Miller photo
Lee Miller

The Scottish striker returns against Yeovil tomorrow after a “horrible” three-match suspension which has kept him sidelined since January 28.

All eyes will be on the influential target-man, whose absence has been felt by manager Greg Abbott and United’s supporters.

But while Miller claims he will relish the extra attention, he is adamant it is not just about him.

Miller said: “It’s flattering everybody saying that I’m a big loss and if all eyes are on me then fair enough.

“That takes the pressure off the other boys and hopefully it means we can just go out there and play our game.

“It’s a massive game but I’ve played in a lot of pressure situations and I’m old enough and experienced enough to deal with that.

“I like the pressure and the attention. But it’s not a one-man team – never has been and never will be.

“We’ve got a really good squad and with the games coming thick and fast we need everybody firing on all cylinders.”

United have taken four points from their three games without Miller in order to remain in touch with the top six but they sorely missed his line-leading strength in Monday’s 4-0 hammering at Brentford.

Miller watched the game on TV and says it only made him more desperate to be involved again in Abbott’s promotion-chasing side.

His controversial red card at Hartlepool last month interrupted the ex-Aberdeen and Middlesbrough man’s impressive season with Carlisle and he is keen to hit the ground running against the 18th-placed Glovers.

“It’s been horrible,” he said of his ban, which was prolonged when Carlisle’s game at Stevenage on February 11 was postponed.

“I’m not a good spectator and I get very agitated when I watch the boys.

“The suspension was so frustrating because I know for a fact I didn’t go to stamp on him [Hartlepool’s Andy Monkhouse]. I didn’t think it was a sending-off and nobody on the pitch or in the stadium seemed to think it was either.

“The referee’s always right and there’s nothing you can do about it.

“But the fact I had been involved so much and then went to the other extreme was hard to take.

“To be training with the kids while the gaffer and the team did their shape work and then travelled to away games was very frustrating.

“But I’ve been training hard with the boys every day, keeping myself fit and I’m just looking forward to getting back in now.”

Manager Abbott, whose side can go sixth if they win and Stevenage lose at leaders Charlton, could make more changes, with Danny Livesey and Tom Taiwo in the frame to start.

Miller’s inevitable return means the Blues boss is likely to stick with his favoured 4-3-3 formation and the striker believes the team are in the mood to put right their Brentford horror show.

“That was one of those things that can happen to any team,” said the 28-year-old.

“Brentford were good on the day, we weren’t so good and they took advantage.

“But the mood’s been alright, the gaffer has got us going, there’s been a nice tempo in training. The boys seem up for it. I’m just excited to be back in the mix of things.”

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