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Hill looks ahead to Boxing Day clash

23 December 2021

First team manager Keith Hill has spoken to iFollow Iron ahead of the Boxing Day away trip to face Oldham Athletic.

Following the disappointment of last weekend's postponement against Bristol Rovers, he said: "We were very disappointed that the Bristol Rovers game was called off because we'd done a lot of good work that week, but it gives us an opportunity to get stronger and more ready.

"We trained on Saturday and pushed the players really hard, replicating what you'd get out of a game in terms of data. We're preparing them for the remainder of the season and trying to create this identity that I'm insisting on in and out of possession. I feel like some of the players are getting there.

"We're planning for Boxing Day now, and it's a big game that we're looking forward to. I'm anticipating a good performance, from what I've seen from the players on the training pitch.

"Now you want to put these things into practice and the game is relevant to the practice that you do. As a group, the players are working exceptionally hard and are having to adapt to the new Covid protocols with respect to EFL regulations on training. We have to be adaptable and flexible, but we have to be ready. We can't be victims.

"Every football club up and down the land is going through the same protocols and rules with respect to fit and available players. We just have to get on with it and have to make sure we're not waiting for something to happen, and that we're trying to make progress on the training pitch, be ready when the games come and if they are postponed then you must make sure that you're continuing to try and make yourself as strong as you possibly can for your next opportunity."

Oldham sit in the bottom two of the division alongside the Iron, and Hill said of them: "They're very spontaneous, unpredictable and have players and a team that can score goals, but because they're set to attack that's one of the big reasons they've been conceding so many.

"They find themselves in a difficult spot in the league with us at this moment in time, so from that perspective it looks like a big game but realistically it's just one game out of 46.

"It's just another game and you have to try and make the most of these opportunities, whether it's against Oldham or Forest Green at the top of the league. It's a chance for us to see how far the players have come, how strong they've become and hopefully turn those strengths that we've improved on into winning performances."

See much more from Keith Hill on iFollow Iron.

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