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Interviews

Hill reflects on taking over at the Iron

6 November 2021

First team manager Keith Hill provided his reaction to iFollow Iron after his side's 1-0 Emirates FA Cup defeat to Doncaster Rovers of the league above.

The new boss began by speaking about his first 24 hours at the Iron, adding: “I’m prepared to take on the challenges of the situation we find ourselves in. I’ve been encouraged with speaking all week with Peter (Swann, chairman), the coaching staff,  the players on Friday, and we then had the 90 minutes against Doncaster in the FA Cup.

“Obviously we’re focused and I believe that we will be successful this season and the success has to be about getting three points as many times as we can in League Two.”

On today’s game, he continued: “There was plenty of enthusiasm. We need to relax in possession and if we improve the basics and stick together collectively then we can use the energy that the young players have, embrace it, and obviously take it to games to win them.

“We are looking for an intelligent energy and with this comes experience and knowledge. I was really pleased with the effort which was maintained. We never gave up and we had opportunities today where we could have equalised at least and it was a game of narrow margins as most of them are.

“The effort, commitment and desire of the players to listen is brilliant but now we need to learn and we need to be quick learners on the training pitch and reflect the way we want to play. Their mentality will get stronger and they will embrace the way I want to play, the philosophy, the identity and we will get better.”

On getting to know the players, the first team coach said: “There are strengths and weaknesses, improve your strengths and hide your weaknesses. We are exposing them in games to the demands of the way I want to play. At times it’s going to be difficult for the players.

“I think the players dealt with it. It wasn’t a great spectacle to watch but the effort, desire and determination was superb and if we do that and improve with the ball and our ability then we can improve our opportunities to put the opposition under sustained pressure and make sure we score goals.” 

He went on to speak about the week ahead: “We are going to work on the basics and our identity and the way I want to work. The messages will be clear and very similar every day. They have to be quick learners, and I have a positive and demanding attitude. There’s a certain way I want to train and it won’t be difficult but it will be different.

“I’m expecting a good response and it was a good response to training yesterday but we have to match it with intelligence and footballing ability. We have good young players but they have to make better footballing decisions and that’s what it’s down to."

He continued: “We can do it. I do believe, having witnessed what we represented today against Doncaster, that we can improve as a team and get those positive results that we need. We are going to use the psychology of being bottom of the league to benefit us and it’s going to take 31 games. There’s no quick fix but it takes the routine of doing the right things on a daily basis. The more you do this in training then the more chance you have of winning on a matchday.”

After this he went back to his appointment as head coach, saying: “You have to be prepared and it’s always sad when a manager loses his job but that’s the football world we live in. We all know that and I’ve lost my job three times, but I plan on being very successful with this football club. I believe that we have the ingredients to be able to do that with the current coaching staff and players.

“We will have to add to the squad in January but we will do that without any panic. As long as the methods are in place on a daily basis then we will definitely improve and that gives us the opportunity to win games.” 

Finally, he finished with a message to the supporters: “Believe, trust, support. We’re a family and emotionally they have to reflect and support the players. There are 31 games left, so support the club and if they do that and we collectively create the siege mentality - myself, the staff, the players, the board of directors, and the supporters - then we can be a strong outfit in League Two.”

See much more from Keith Hill and George Taft on iFollow Iron.

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