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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » Keith Hill warns players to 'do their homework'

Keith Hill warns players to 'do their homework'

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Keith Hill feels his players have got to start learning their lessons in League One – or risk the consequences.

The Bolton boss wants his squad to shoulder more responsibility for analysing their opponents and taking on board the information passed on by himself and the coaching staff.

Speaking after Wanderers exited the Trophy at Accrington on Tuesday night, Hill believes his team has got to start getting wiser to the teams and opponents they face each week.

“The players have got to learn,” he told The Bolton News. “The thing with experience is taking what you have learned into your job and making sure you are ready.

“For me, it was about profiling opponents’ style, strengths and weaknesses, and if I was a central defender and playing against Accrington or Peterborough, I’d know who I was playing against, or if I didn’t, I’d do my homework.

“If the manager has warned you about all that, it’s then the players who have to then put it into action.

“it applies to developing young players and also experienced ones who have a career based on reactions. But, for me, it’s about reading your opponent and that is where we have got to get to with the younger players after 50-60 games. You hope they can come in proactive and think ‘I’ve started against him before, I know his strengths, I know where he wants the ball.’ That is where you start building careers.”

Hill also feels Wanderers’ younger players could become vulnerable in League One if they fail to heed his warning.

“If you have played 10 games as a 20 or 21-year-old, you have played 10 games. You haven’t done anything,” he said.

“The opposition start profiling you – they start seeking out weaknesses. Prior to me coming here managers were already looking at the team which had been set up, Gillingham for example, and we know where they were attacking us, where and why.

“We are in a growing process and we’ll do that together. And by the way, when you grow together there will be some players who slide by, 100 per cent.”

Wanderers picked up a few bumps and bruises on Tuesday night – but no injuries have been reported which will affect the squad at Peterborough on Saturday.

Hill believes his younger players learned a lesson in physicality at Accrington.

“It’s football and it has to be competitive,” he said. “Players have got to understand that.

“We have to play Accrington again this season and we’ll have to be feisty, up for the fight. That is part of the battle against them, the football comes second.

“You have to earn the right with the first duel, the first pass, the first header. They are quick on transitions and they are after you right away, you can’t take your time to settle in.

“If it’s good enough for Liverpool to be that quick on transitions then it’s good enough for everyone.”


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