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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » Bolton 2 AFC Wimbledon 2 - Keith Hill's post-match reaction

Bolton 2 AFC Wimbledon 2 - Keith Hill's post-match reaction

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Keith Hill was proud of Wanderers’ late comeback to snatch a point against AFC Wimbledon in his 100th day in charge.

The Bolton boss was appointed soon after a 5-0 defeat at Gillingham in late August and watched his side claw more ground on Southend United in the survival battle thanks to Joe Dodoo’s 95th minute header.

Finnish striker Marcus Forss twice put the visitors ahead, capitalising first on a poor pass from Sonny Graham and then some statuesque defending at a set piece.

Daryl Murphy equalised shortly after half time with his fifth goal of the campaign but Bolton looked to be heading towards defeat until Dodoo’s last-gasp leveller sent fans home happy.

Wanderers could name just six subs and brought youngsters Ronan Darcy and Sonny Graham into the starting line-up to cover for injuries to Liam Bridcutt and Luke Murphy.

“I am pleased – a lot has happened in two weeks,” the manager said. “But then it’s 100 days since I got the phone call, and that’s no time in football.

“For us to achieve what we are achieving I am really proud. I am proud of Sonny Graham for recovering from the mistake he made. He’s brave, he’s 17, and he knows he shouldn’t do that but he’ll learn.

“Ronan Darcy has travelled in that 100 days from being what looked like a schoolboy into somebody who we’re trying to find within the squad of players we’ve got to replace Ali Crawford, and the damage he was doing to opponents.

“These experiments we’re having to do live, it’s no use doing them in training.”

Hill had sensed some frustration creeping into the home fans as Wanderers struggled to make their possession count.

And that prompted him to appeal for some patience after the final whistle after a week where he once again felt injuries bite into the squad.

“There’s a lot of unseen work, drama, things that change in the space of a week, let alone hours,” he said. “The size of the task is huge here and the players are trying everything.

“The one thing I won’t be at this football club is the scapegoat for the past. I am genuinely here to help. Everyone has got to embrace that.

“I am asking everything of the group of players and they make mistakes, and when they do they need support. Sonny made a mistake and it led to a goal but that’s not the end of the game. We made a mistake from a set play for the second but the players’ courage is still there.

“We are not going to win League One just by magic. I’m getting so much support from Football Ventures but neither they nor myself should be blamed for what has happened in the past.

“People have got to respect and understand where we are.

“In terms of size of squad AFC are miles ahead of us. A point is a magnificent achievement, not because as a club we are not bigger than then, we are, historically. No question.

“But in respect to building blocks they are a million miles ahead. If it was a 400-metre track they’d be 200m ahead in terms of recruitment, plans for the future.

“We are building but there has to be more understanding, more support. I am no different as a person having secured a late draw than I was two weeks ago but the ramifications of what happened over the last 10 years and last summer are nothing to do with me.

“I can feel there is a tension of expectation being built where people expect we should be walking all over AFC Wimbledon. People don’t understand, they have saleable assets, footballing assets, we need to get to that and we’re nowhere near.

“We are doing everything we can to get results but we don’t know which way things are going to swing.”


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