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Hill post-Barrow (H)

15 March 2022

First team manager Keith Hill reacted to his side's narrow 1-0 loss against Barrow after playing with ten men for over 70 minutes.

Anthony Grant was sent off in the 22nd minute, and the away side managed to make the breakthrough just before the half-time break.

Mark Cooper's had a player sent off themselves just before the end of the game, as United pushed for a leveller late on.

Hill told iFollow Iron: "It was difficult. You want to try and keep your full complement of players because it's always an uphill task if not. We lost Anthony Grant 22 minutes into the game and it's a struggle, there's no question about that.

"We played against a possession-based side tonight with ten men for the majority of the game, so that is difficult in itself, but I don't think the players gave in. It was a very difficult experience for the young players, with Harry Lewis coming on and Harvey Cribb staying on the pitch, while we also had some other young players out there but it's a learning curve and an opportunity for them at the end of the season to digest those kinds of games and learn from them.

"It was a difficult experience for the players, and for me to watch it. I wouldn't say I felt sorry for the players, but the difficulties of trying to salvage something from that game again goes beyond just football. Physically and mentally it's a massive ask for the players, but I congratulate the players for the effort they put in.

"We had one or two potential opportunities towards the end of the game but it obviously didn't transpire.

"It's very frustrating (at this moment in time) but we're having to deal with it and look beyond those and plan for the future. The games will be hard emotionally but everyone has to stick together. There's a clear plan of action that's going to be taken for the future, but it's not a short-term fix."

Talking about the dismissal of Grant, he said: "I have to look back at it again but I won't complain too much. We saw a good reaction from the group of players physically and mentally. He misses three games now but it creates an opportunity."

Hill added: "Mason O'Malley came off with a different injury tonight, as he was 100 per cent fit and it's not a recurring injury. It was his hamstring this time, so we're disappointed with that. It's pretty serious and will keep him out for anything between four or six games."

See much more from Keith Hill on iFollow Iron.

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