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Hill reflects on Newport game

22 January 2022

First team manager Keith Hill provided his reaction to iFollow Iron after his side's 1-0 home loss to promotion-chasing Newport County, which was secured by a Courtney Baker-Richardson goal early in the second half.

United missed a penalty through Myles Hippolyte later in the second period and Hill felt his side could have got a point from the game, though was full of praise for their endeavour.

He said: "We have to try and be as positive as we possibly can. There was great effort, determination and desire but it's a game that in isolation has been won by them scoring from a free-kick and us missing a penalty.

"The scoreline doesn't tell the whole story. We battled well and did everything we possibly could. I thought we defended resolutely in the first half. We gave a sloppy penalty early on which we could have been punished on but they missed it.

"When you go in at half-time you have a real opportunity to re-set. We just weren't great in possession and we have to be better with the ball. The players admit that but I'm not here to beat the players up. We have to build confidence and performances with the players we have available. They deserve a lot of admiration and credit for putting themselves out there. Sometimes you get players who swim away from the scenario, and hide pretending it's not their responsibility. However, most of the players we've got accept responsibility of the challenges.

"It's difficult, there's no question about that but I'm pretty optimistic and pleased with certain aspects of the performance. The players themselves know what they need to improve on. When you're losing football matches and are where we are in the league, you're always getting told what you're doing wrong. So we've got to work on what we're doing right and try to build off that. Football is a funny game and I believe there was something there for us in the second half and probably we could have come out with something.

"We have to be better and want to be better, and expect our players to be better. The players have got to adjust themselves to the fine margins of the game and what's necessary, but they have to learn quickly. We're looking for quick learners but, trust me, psychologically been one of our players is very difficult. There are a lot of hard knocks in there but they've been courageous for me and I will support them 100 per cent because of the job they're trying to do. In a hard game like today, they're not going missing."

Talking about Harry Bunn, who came off during the first half, he said: "He's injured his calf and it could be a long-term one. He'll probably have to go for a scan. We don't know the severity of it but it looks a bad one."

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

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