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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » Keith Hill explains how Wanderers can get back to winning ways at Doncaster

Keith Hill explains how Wanderers can get back to winning ways at Doncaster

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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Keith Hill believes Wanderers are just the wrong side of a fine dividing line between success and failure in League One.

Recent performances have encouraged the Bolton boss, who takes his team to Doncaster Rovers tonight.

There is very little margin for error in the final 17 games of the season if Wanderers are to stand any chance of escaping relegation – and they could potentially close the gap on AFC Wimbledon to 14 points with a victory in South Yorkshire.

Hill feels confident the points column will start to tick over soon.

“We’re close,” he said, reflecting on Saturday’s result at Coventry. “The margin of the league position is pretty huge but from a performance level we’re not that far away. We shouldn’t have lost that game.

“It’s small margins, inches, whatever you want to call it. Individual mistakes do cost you.

“I don’t think we’re ever going to be at this time prolific goal-scorers, so it’s key that we make fewer defensive mistakes – and that isn’t just down to defenders, it’s about keeping the ball.

“Too many turnovers were the difference between us losing the game and drawing it.

“When we got the equaliser, the way the game was flowing with Chris O’Grady and Daryl Murphy getting an opportunity, if we had been more prolific we could have had a relatively comfortable lead in those final five minutes.

“There’s a certain amount of pain in losing a football match but it should stimulate ambition to make sure we don’t suffer more. We want to promote ambition and that won’t just see us close the gap on teams like Coventry but retain and gain more points.

“It’s important as we go through the last 17 games of the season.”

Defeat at Coventry came courtesy of a last-minute goal, giving an added air of disappointment to the rain-soaked training ground over the weekend.

Asked if he expected his players to dwell on the defeat, Hill added: “It’s hard not to – but it’s how we react to that pain. We have to show better levels of concentration, better decision making, try to have more control.

“I think whatever I try and do in life I tend to want some control. Yes, I don’t mind someone taking things on, so long as I have some say in the bigger picture. I allow the players to lead.

“But we want to be in better defensive positions while we are attacking and in better attacking positions when we’re defending – that’s the control I am talking about. They call it transitions these days but I always have called them turnovers.

“In the first 20 minutes that’s the reason we were getting turned over. The little duels we weren’t retaining the ball so we weren’t forcing Coventry on to the back foot. All their offensive players were in offensive areas of the pitch and we were giving the ball away to them. It was feeding their strategy.

“In the second half we were passing the ball better, spending more time on the ball, which was making them defend deeper and allowed us to attack higher up the pitch.

“Making fewer mistakes is so important. I have to understand why – and I think it’s because we’re not clean enough yet in making those decisions for long periods during games.

“I believe we are making progress as a team but we have to be cleaner in our decision making.”

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