Manager Keith Hill has told iFollow that he’s encouraged by the Boxing Day performance against Blackburn Rovers despite the result, as he retains a balanced perspective…
“It’s disappointing but I’ve got to express no disappointment, just encouragement. To a certain degree, two thirds of the performance with respect to what we wanted was there,” said Hill.
“There was bit of courage to get on the ball and to also get the ball back when we didn’t have it. As a manager, looking at that as a performance instead of a result, then I’m encouraged going into Friday's game against Doncaster Rovers.
“Some of those players have done exceptionally well today under difficult circumstances, playing against the Kings of Savile Row. If you look at the squad of players they’ve got and have retained from their Championship relegation – they’re an excellent outfit.”
Hill made three changes to his starting eleven and shuffled the bench, with key players missing from the matchday squad. He has revealed this was down to injury and illness.
“The changes were enforced – we’ve got injuries and illness. There are three players affected – Jim McNulty, Calvin Andrew and Joe Rafferty. One of them was due to play today but couldn’t through illness, so all the planning went out of the window this morning, and Calvin Andrew has been ill for the last couple of days since the Walsall game.”
With the Doncaster fixture just a few days away and the Blackpool game soon after, Hill says he will continue to give players encouragement and confidence.
“I can’t chastise the players, because I need them. I need to give them as much confidence as I possibly can to accept the challenges that we’re under and to accept their responsibilities of being a team player. I can’t have them running scared – they’ve got to accept the demands that I put on them. That’s footballing demands, not demands of pressure.
“It’s making sure I retain a balanced perspective and that I don’t overreact, and that we make the most of the games that we’ve got remaining. That’s important, because I’ve got to remember when we were in this situation before and use similar sort of tactics to build and dig ourselves out of a hole.”
Watch the full interview on iFollow.