Mills Sets Target For Oxford Loan

Stanley Mills is enjoying life on loan at Oxford United - as he set out his targets for what has been an excellent start with the League One outfit.

The 19-year-old winger made the season-long temporary move in July and has experienced a positive opening few weeks with the U’s, featuring in six of Oxford’s seven league games, including starts at Barnsley, as well as on Saturday against Fleetwood Town.

He netted his first goal for the third-tier side at the weekend, opening the scoring with an incredible left-footed strike from outside the penalty area to kick-start a 3-0 victory; Oxford's biggest win of the season as they moved up to fourth in the table.

Mills, who was a key player for Everton Under-21s last season, has also earned starts in both the EFL Trophy and Carabao Cup so far this term.

Nevertheless, the Toffees prospect is keen for further minutes and spoke to evertonfc.com about the loan move and his ambitions for the campaign.

“I’ve settled in quickly. The lads here are brilliant, and the club have been really helpful with sorting a place for me to live, so it’s been really good," Mills told evertonfc.com.

“I’ve been pleased with the first few weeks. I feel like playing in the league is a lot different to playing '21s football last year; it means something to everyone, and I think that’s good for my development.

“Every time I’ve come on or started a game, I’ve had a good impact and I’m just going to try to keep impacting the game in any way I can, whether that’s creating goals, scoring or just helping the team out to get the three points. I just want to try to nail down a starting spot and keep myself in the team.”

With 10 goals in 15 Premier League 2 matches last season, Mills was Everton’s highest scorer in the competition. He averaged 0.76 goals per 90 minutes for Paul Tait’s side, which was bettered by only five players from across every team in the division.

Now operating in men’s football, Mills explains the significant differences both tactically and mentally, but outlines a previous Everton experience that provided practical preparation ahead of the transition to games in League One.

“A lot of teams are more physical, and they play a lot more directly,” said Mills. “It’s something you’ve got to get used to quickly, and I think some teams are like that in Premier League 2, so you’re used to it occasionally.

“Especially playing in last year’s EFL Trophy. That gets you ready for that physicality because you're playing against those teams from League One and Two. I think that’s definitely been good for my development.”

Mills went on to discuss his relationship with former Blues striker, and now Everton’s Loans Pathway Manager, James Vaughan, before detailing how the season-long loan came to fruition.

“He keeps in touch and checks how things are going,” said Mills on the support provided by Vaughan. “If I need anything, he’ll sort it, which is really great, and I’ve kept in contact with him regularly since I left.

“I sort of knew the loan was an option from the late summer. I knew Oxford were interested if I was going to be allowed out on loan.

“I spoke to the manager a few times and he explained what the plan was, and I fitted into that, which was very helpful. Back in July, we played Bolton on a Tuesday night and after that game, I got the call to say I could go out on loan. The day after I was down there, and it all happened pretty quickly.”