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Interviews

Hill: We need the fans to support us in their numbers

3 February 2022

There was no playing down the importance of Saturday's home League Two game against Oldham Athletic (3pm kick-off) from Iron first team manager Keith Hill, as a new-look United side look to kickstart their season with victory over the Latics this weekend.

Following the closure of a January transfer window that saw eight new additions, the United boss is looking forward to a game against a side placed just above Scunthorpe in the relegation zone which could see home debuts for five new players.

Sam Burns, Luke Matheson and Tyrese Sinclair have already turned out in front of the home faithful, but Liam Feeney, Anthony Grant, Joe Nuttall, Rekeil Pyke and Ryan Delaney could all make their Sands Venue Stadium bow at the weekend.

Hill told iFollow Iron: "It's huge from every aspect. The transfer window has now closed and there is an open free market for players who have had their contracts cancelled, which we will be looking at, but we've got 18 games and this is the start of that 18 game period. We want to get off to a good start in those matches, from a performance, bonding and psychological point of view. A win is much-needed for everybody, the supporters, the staff and it would give a much-needed confidence booster to the squad of players.

"We've got to have unity as a football club. I'd encourage a big crowd and as many supporters as we possibly can supporting the players, myself and our opportunities. It's a big match, a game of pressure but we have to remember it's one the players want to enjoy. They want to be supported by our fans and I'd encourage them to turn up in their numbers. We want them there backing the team, creating that environment and siege mentality against any opposition.

"We're looking for a kickstart and to reboot - not just the season, but the football club as well. I think we've shown our intent with the January transfer window and we want to take a 'let's fight the world' mentality into the 18 games. It starts against Oldham.

"It won't be an easy game but I want the players to relax in the performance, express themselves and be supported by our home supporters. I really want them to be encouraging of the players, the identity and future that we're trying to create. That's why I'd encourage as many fans as we possibly can to come down, take a look and see what we're trying to create for the future."

Midweek saw numerous players receive important game time as the Iron defeated Spalding United 2-1 away in a Lincolnshire Senior Cup semi-final, and Hill added: "It was a difficult game in tough conditions, but it probably serviced their style a little bit more than ours. It was difficult for our players to get the ball under control and play the type of football that we want, but I do think the players managed the game and the opposition well, and we got valuable minutes for the likes of Joe Nuttall and also saw a couple of trialists involved as well.

"I think when you do play in those types of games, it does favour the opponent. There was some gamesmanship that our players probably aren't used to, but I thought the players navigated it quite well under pressure physically and psychologically, while the pitch was bobbly too, but we responded well with the scoreline."

See much more from Keith Hill on iFollow Iron.

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