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Hill talks after point at Crawley

5 March 2022

First team manager Keith Hill spoke to iFollow Iron following a hard-earned point in a stalemate at Crawley Town.

The gaffer started by reflecting on the match, saying: “I’m pleased, especially with the second half performance. I thought in the first half we stepped off a little bit and encouraged the opponents to build possession when I really want us to press higher up the pitch, work together, and I thought we were too spread apart, especially with the two strikers.

“In the second half we joined it all up and it was a far better performance where we could have taken all three points, if we had made one or two better decisions on our final pass. I believe that the attitude, the application, the desire, and the commitment was there for everybody to see.” 

Hill then spoke about the importance of the point following last week's result, saying: “There shouldn’t need to be a reaction, there shouldn’t be a need for everybody to turn up and work hard even if we’re not better than the opponents (that should be a given). I’ve always built teams on honesty, on real hard work, a 'we run all over the opponent' attitude and I don’t think we’ve done that properly.

“I thought we saw signs of it today in the second half when we were counter attacking and really running at the back four, and we probably should have made better of our opportunities. I thought it was an outstanding effort today from the players, with two away games in succession and long trips. The players have worked really hard today, but I thought there was a lot to take from that second half especially.”

Following this he spoke about Harvey Cribb, who today became the youngest ever starter for the Iron: “He was outstanding but again he’s got to keep a lid on it and he’s got to do the basics, and his basics are his homework. He’s got to be humble and he has to thank Dawsy (Tony Daws, academy manager), Dale (Tonge, professional development coach) and the rest of the academy coaches, and he has to thank the football club for giving him the opportunity. His parents have also been magnificent.

“He’s integrated really well into the team and what we expect from him. I’ve got no doubt about playing him and I’ve got no doubt about his future in the game. He’s an outstanding person and generally when you play young players it’s because they’re outstanding people with an outstanding upbringing and he’s a credit to himself and his family. He’s going to be a credit here and he’s going to be an outstanding young player for Scunthorpe United.” 

On Ross Millen and Mason O'Malley's absences, the boss said: “With Ross Millen, what we believed was tendinitis, was probably an injury that was picked up at Sutton where he’s tore one of his ligaments slightly. We don’t know how long he will be but it will be a significant amount of time.

“With Mason O’Malley he pulled out of training on Thursday with a thigh strain so that could be quite a long period as well. We have got Harry Lewis, but I just thought it would have been one step too far playing against Crawley with the likes of Luke Matheson and Harvey Cribb (in terms of youth) also out there, but I thought the players who did perform today were outstanding."

Hill also praised Jai Rowe, who played at centre back, saying: “He was brilliant, he was absolutely outstanding. I love him because he’s honest. He will make honest mistakes at times, and they’re not hiding on a football pitch mistakes. He was absolutely superb.” 

Tyrese Sinclair missed out due to the maximum number of loanees being used in the squad, and the gaffer also spoke about this, saying: “It was a difficult one for him and I had to explain it to him. His head fell off as it would do because he wants to play and he’s come here to play. However, his attitude has been acceptable, so once he got his head around it, he’s joined in today, he’s got in amongst the players and encouraged them, and he will get his opportunity to play there’s no doubt about it.” 

Finally, Hill spoke about the two upcoming home fixtures against Colchester United and Barrow, adding: “We need performances and with those performances we need good decisions now. We’ve had a good performance today, we need better footballing decisions and then we can become a winning team.

“We want positive momentum and we want to strike fear into the opponents and for us to be able to do that we have to perform, but we have to perform from our next training session. We have to perform to make sure that we have good repetition on the training ground so that we don’t fail when it come to 90 minutes."

See much more from Keith Hill and Jai Rowe on iFollow Iron.

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