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Accrington 2 Bolton Wanderers 0 - Keith Hill's post-match reaction

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Keith Hill insists Wanderers’ cup exit at Accrington was not a completely damp squib.

Even though his side were dumped out of the Trophy on a wet winter’s night at the Wham Stadium, the Bolton boss found reasons to be cheerful.

Goals from Offrande Zanzala and Colby Bishop put John Coleman’s side into the third round, leaving Bolton to concentrate solely on the fight against relegation from League One.

“I can take some positives out of it – I don’t think we got any injuries,” smiled Hill.

“Second half I was really pleased with the performance levels. I’d made one or two adaptions, tried to rotate the squad as best as I possibly could.

“I am trying to balance from Saturday into Peterborough and still get a positive result but we’ve fallen short.

“We stuck to our task first half, it got better after half time, but I am disappointed with that second goal. It was at a time where we looked like scoring ourselves.

“It’s onwards and upwards. I was pretty pleased with Adam Senior, Sonny Graham, Ronan Darcy had his second game in a week so I need to make sure he gets some rest and recovery. I want him in the squad for Saturday.”

Hill substituted James Weir and Yoan Zouma at half time – adding that he had always planned to bring Thibaud Verlinden on at the break.

There was a sense of disappointment, however, as the manager admitted some of his players had not heeded the lessons dealt out so dramatically a few weeks ago, when Wanderers lost 7-1 to the same opponents.

“The changes were necessary,” he said. “The way Accrington play is very effective, and I love the way they play. But they were hurting us. It wasn’t rocket science, it was obvious what was happening, so I had to make those changes.

“You can’t make apologies for it as a manager, you are trying to make your opportunity to win the game better. And I don’t think one or two of the players learned what we experienced three weeks ago.”

Hill thanked the 400-plus Bolton fans who braved the conditions to watch the game, nearly three weeks after the club’s heaviest-ever defeat at this level of football.

“I’d like to thank the fans for turning up on what was a gloomy night – they had every right not to after what happened last time,” the manager added.


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