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Interviews

Hill reflects on January transfer deadline day and the month in general

31 January 2022

First team manager Keith Hill provided his reaction to iFollow Iron after completing the Iron's January transfer deadline day business with the additions of defender Ryan Delaney, plus strikers Joe Nuttall and Rekeil Pyke.

"I feel 10 years older," he quipped, summarising the month.
 
Talking about the addition of Delaney on loan from Morecambe, who he previously signed at Rochdale and Bolton, for the rest of the season, he said: "We've got an old school central defender who's left-footed and not afraid to head the ball 40 yards. I love him to bits. He's previously fought one outstanding relegation battle with me where we were 12 points cut adrift from safety at the bottom of the league with 16 games to play (at Rochdale).
 
"He was magnificent in our pursuit of clawing back the points gap up to and including the last game against Charlton where we beat them and stayed up. He's not afraid of a challenge and he's a real soldier, and someone I really trust and depend on. I'm really pleased to have got him into the football club."
 
Speaking further about Nuttall and Pyke's acquisitions from Blackpool on a permanent basis and Shrewsbury Town on loan, he continued: "I'm really pleased. Joe's at a very good age and is a player who is hungry to play and he gives us the retaining skills I want in the final third, with the likes of Liam Feeney, who is a goal provider and an assist player who was magnificent on Saturday. I'm really pleased to have got Joe over the line eventually.
 
"Rekeil brings pace. We've got different options now and do need support in that area of the pitch. Sam Burns, Jordan Hallam, Tyrese Sinclair and Harry Bunn need a physical presence up there and recently we haven't really had one. It's been missing and we've got two players in who don't just provide a physical presence, but pace as well. I do believe we can play with a wide striker as well and have different permutations to the way we want to play. The identity won't change but the personnel can now. I think we have really good options."
 
The day saw Myles Hippolyte complete a move to Stockport County on a permanent basis, while Harry Wood was recalled from his loan spell by parent club Hull City and Devarn Green left by mutual consent.
 
He added: "It's a good move for Myles, he's gone to a club that's upwardly mobile and expected to win the National League. It's a great opportunity for Myles, but it gives me the opportunity to get the players in that I want to get in and having assessed the squad I think it was the right decision for everybody, including Myles.
 
"It's a shame really regarding Harry. That was one that we had to do and it was a case of balancing the squad of players I've got with the ones that I needed to bring in to make a difference. I'm trying to put a jigsaw together and unfortunately that excluded Harry. It's a bit of a shame really because he is one I would like to have kept. It's not down to finances, but down to the EFL numbers and the loan player situation. You can't have too many loanees - not by default but by rules as you're only allowed five in a matchday squad.
 
"Again, after assessing the squad of players since I've been here, Dev would have had limited opportunities. Change is necessary as you can't keep doing the same thing with the same group of players and expect a change in results. I think we needed a stimulus to change.
 
"Let me tell you, there are other players who I wanted to leave who still remain at the club and I've had some hard conversations over the course of the last three or four weeks. The window has finally closed but I believe we've made ourselves stronger with the signings that have gone in over the course of the month. We now have 18 difficult cup finals to play."
 
Those final three signings make it eight for the January window, joining Sam Burns, Luke Matheson, Tyrese Sinclair, Liam Feeney and Anthony Grant.
 
Hill concluded: "My plan is to make us stronger, with a foundation to build success from. I believe we've made progress with the signings in January and also retaining the players we want to keep and develop. We've now got 18 cup finals to play."

See much more from Keith Hill on iFollow Iron.

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