Miller's right move

TWO-GOAL hero Tommy Miller is glad he turned down a move to Crewe, even though it means playing out of position for Ipswich Town.Miller cracked home two outstanding goals to set the ball rolling in the pulsating 10-goal thriller and came close to a hat-trick, despite playing on the right wing.

TWO-GOAL hero Tommy Miller is glad he turned down a move to Crewe, even though it means playing out of position for Ipswich Town, writes Derek Davis.

Miller cracked home two outstanding goals to set the ball rolling in the pulsating 10-goal thriller and came close to a hat-trick, despite playing on the right wing.

His man of the match performance came as no surprise to Crewe boss Dario Gradi, who was close to adding him to his stable.

Miller was just hours away from signing for Alex before choosing a switch to Portman Road from Hartlepool in July 2001. A fee had been agreed between Crewe and Pool and Miller went to Gresty Road to look around the ground and hold talks with Gradi with his father and a representative from the PFA, acting as his agent.


You may also want to watch:


But George Burley had also been in touch and within hours of arriving in Ipswich he had made his mind up.

Miller said: "I had talks with Dario and was very close to signing as I saw that as the next step up for me from Hartlepool. But the chance of Premier League and European football was a chance I could not turn down so I chose Ipswich."

Most Read

Miller had been released by Town as a 15-year-old and moved to back to his home town club Hartlepool, where he went on to score 44 goals in 160 appearances and earn a place in the PFA Division Three side in successive seasons, prompting Crewe and Ipswich to bid almost £1m for him.

Despite being a little unsettled recently, Miller felt it was pre-ordained that he would score on Saturday.

He said: "During the week I was remembering how I had scored against Crewe for Hartlepool and I just had a feeling I might get a goal, but I was delighted to get two."

The 25-year-old spoke out in the EADT on Saturday about how much he disliked playing on the wing, although he slightly preferred the right to the left.

But with Jermaine Wright asked to play at right-back due to Fabian Wilnis' suspension, Miller was used on the right side of midfield, with a flexibility he relished.

Miller said: "I have not fallen out with Joe (Royle) or anything like that, but I did have a word with him because I did not like playing on the left hand side. I'm not a left-footed player and I'm not a winger but he told me I was playing on the right on Saturday.

"He told me not to stay out wide so I was able to come inside, get on the ball and play with the front two, although when we lost the ball I went back out wide so we kept our shape."

Miller's brace took him to seven goals for the season in a dozen starts.

Blues boss Joe Royle said: "I was delighted with Tommy. He is that one midfielder who has that real goal-scoring instinct.

"So for him to do what he is good at from a wide position, that he doesn't think is best position, shows it can be done."

Miller came close to grabbing a hat-trick but was denied by a goal-line clearance and a good save from beleaguered Crewe keeper Clayton Ince. And he revealed it was a game that was as enjoyable to play in as it was to watch, but lessons needed to be learned.

He said: "I have never been involved in a game like that. All the lads said the same back in the dressing room – it was unbelievable, especially for the lads at the back, they did not know what was happening.

"We were able to laugh about it afterwards but we still have to put it right. Conceding four goals at home is not good enough, but scoring six is good enough. Crewe are renowned for their football and Dario has done a smashing job with some great players, but in the first half we passed them off the park.

"When they have scored a few nerves kicked in and we gave away some sloppy goals but overall we deserved to win."

If he starts against Sunderland, a club his family and friends have close ties with, on Saturday, it will be Miller's 50th starting appearance.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter