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Hill talks ahead of Bristol Rovers home game

24 January 2022

First team manager Keith Hill has previewed the home game versus Bristol Rovers on Tuesday night (7.45pm kick-off) as his side seek to return to winning ways against the Pirates.

The two sides meet at the Sands Venue Stadium for a rearranged fixture, after the original game was called off prior to Christmas due to Covid-19 cases in the Pirates squad.

Ahead of the meeting with Joey Barton's men, Hill told iFollow Iron: "I'm feeling optimistic, positive and looking forward to it, going into the game with a lot of belief that we're capable of not just challenging Bristol Rovers but overcoming them.

"It was a game that has been rearranged having previously been called off due to Covid, but it's one I'm really looking forward to, even though we've got a depleted squad going into it. It creates an opportunity for us as a football club and for the players to test ourselves over 90 minutes.

"Those are the challenges and they need to be met by the group of players, myself and all the staff.

"It's amazing what happens when you get that little bit of confidence and self-belief, but you've got to fight for it and we really have to fight and dig deep, but to do that we need a little bit of luck as well."

Updating on the squad ahead of the match, he continued: "We certainly have (fresh injury concerns), but I can't tell you how many or to which players.

"Harry Bunn (who came off with a calf injury against Newport on Saturday) is going for a scan today so we'll only know more after we get the results. I would imagine it's a six-to-eight week one, though we await confirmation."

Speaking about the club's efforts in the transfer market since the weekend, he added: "We've been doing everything we can over the weekend to try and get players in who will make us better, improve the group and the mentality, which will improve their confidence. The players themselves are hurting and want some support, and if we can bring some in that will be superb. If not, we can't become victims of the situation. We have to pin our shoulders back and take on the fight. The fight against relegation and the fight of our opponents."

He ended by talking about the opposition, continuing: "They've been in transition for quite a long period of time and I've only really played them in League One, where they were still heavy spenders at that level. For me, I think Joey (Barton, manager) over time will put them in a situation where they're promotion favourites, but sometimes relegation can de-stimulate a group and cause a bit of unrest. I'm sure Joey will get there eventually though."

See much more from Keith Hill and Sam Burns on iFollow Iron.


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