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Why Wycombe give Keith Hill some hope for Wanderers' grand plan

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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Keith Hill is secretly hoping that another ‘Wanderers’ get their just rewards in League One this season.

While the Bolton boss insists his own club’s survival fight is still winnable – he admits he has a favourite when it comes to the promotion race.

Saturday’s opponents Wycombe have been punching above their weight thus far but come to the UniBol on the back of a rare home defeat against Fleetwood on Tuesday night.

They remain handily placed in fourth, two points off the automatic promotion spots, but have now won just three of their last 11 league games.

Gareth Ainsworth has been in charge at Adams Park for nearly seven-and-a-half years, more than any other manager in the EFL or Premier League, and Hill believes success for the Chairboys would be a victory for continuity.

“As an underdog performer myself I’d like to see Wycombe go up,” Hill told The Bolton News. “I know we play them in the next home game but barring that one I’d like to see the way they have developed that club rewarded.

“When we – and by that I mean me – were getting promoted at Rochdale, the same season Wycombe survived in the league by goal difference.

“Six seasons on by the same continuity, that slow build and mentality of working together, it has been proven to be fruitful in an environment where the quick fix is overspending. I really hope they are successful.

“As a manager you want the whole of the football structure to replicate the way you want to do things so that there’s that synergy throughout. If the manager changes, the only thing that changes is the manager.

“You can recycle players but what can’t be recycled is the philosophy and identity of the football club, and that’s what we are trying to build here. That’s what needs to happen over the next 20, 30, 40 years.”

Implementing any sort of grand plan has been an impossible exercise at Wanderers in recent years.

Hill hopes that with the club under new ownership, and his squad now starting to settle after two windows of mass upheaval, that can soon change.

“The methodology has got to be continual dress rehearsals, development,” he said. “You want the continuity of players on the training ground going through the way you want to play.

“It has been stop-start, stop-start for us, not just in games, or the season, but supporters, players, manager – so you need that continuity.

“Otherwise you keep ripping it up, going back to square one.”

Hill believes football will have to come to terms with some degree of sustainability, even among the biggest clubs in the land.

The hotseat at Wanderers has remained relatively still in the last decade – with Hill the fifth permanent occupant after Owen Coyle, Dougie Freedman, Neil Lennon and Phil Parkinson.

But he feels the chopping and changing of managers at other clubs has accelerated the rising levels of debt outside the top flight and even put off investors in the Premier League.

“It actually costs you more money to start again every 12, 18 months,” he said.

“The richest British man in the world (Sir Jim Ratcliffe) is abstaining from investing in Manchester United because he doesn’t believe the way they are spending money is productive. So that tells you something.

“You want the continuity and to invest well. People who have money don’t want to be continually spending so there has to be a structure and a lifespan beyond 90 minutes.

“Too many clubs are spending money they haven’t got. I mean, we’re at the stage where MK Dons are posting losses of £14million. It’s crazy and I don’t think it’s sustainable.

“I think they have fallen into a smaller trap than some of the bigger fish of the Championship where they just keep changing the manager.

“People think it’s the right or the easy thing to do – but cost-effective wise it’s costing more.”

Source

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