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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » Why Toto Nsiala's arrival at Wanderers could be good news for Yoan Zouma

Why Toto Nsiala's arrival at Wanderers could be good news for Yoan Zouma

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
The arrival of Toto Nsiala could be good news for Yoan Zouma.

Keith Hill believes the on-loan Ipswich Town defender’s presence could help improve Zouma’s game after watching the pair play together against Rochdale.

The Bolton boss was pleased with Nsiala’s start and feels he has the defensive skills to make a difference in the second half of the campaign, which begins with tonight’s trip to Lincoln.

“He heads it, kicks it, still has his mobility,” he said of the 27-year-old.

“He can handle the ball and gets us up the pitch. He’s a leader and if he’s going to play alongside Yoan then he has got to lead him.”

Hill has voiced concerns at the mental side of Zouma’s game before but with few defensive options at his disposal, the Frenchman is having to learn on the job.

“Yoan still switches off, still not 100 per cent concentration, that’s a worry at 21 years of age when you are playing against players like Ian Henderson and Albi (Aaron Wilbraham),” Hill remarked. “You don’t see where they are for a second and then all of a sudden you are in danger.

“He has got to learn. You probably get three chances to make a mistake in a game.

“A long time ago when I was playing Kenny Dalglish said he made a mistake once. Three mistakes in three games? See you later, you’re not playing, simple as that.

“You have to be a quick learner as a football player and this isn’t just about Yoan, it’s all players, because there are some who are just older and use their experience and profile. With Yoan, he has to learn. If he’s capable and the information is going in, he has to take it on board and put it into performances because right here, right now, he has to perform.”

Hill’s business in the transfer market last week hinted at the mix of youth and experience he is trying to establish in the squad.

Of the starting line-up at Dale, Zouma, Sonny Graham, Ronan Darcy, Liam Edwards, Josh Emmanuel, Ethan Hamilton, plus second-half substitute Muhammadu Faal were all aged 23 or under.

And Hill freely accepts the foot of League One is a harsh environment on which to launch relatively untested players.

“He (Zouma) is going to have to learn right on the rock face, in the heart of battle,” he told The Bolton News.

“I think there’s no better place. But I think there will be people who don’t survive that baptism of fire.

“I support players who make mistakes as long as they are giving me everything under the shirt. If they are giving me everything then I will support them, protect them, give them more opportunities. But there’s a cut-off point, like anything.”

Hill spoke at length over the weekend about “the big rebuild” he is embarking upon at Wanderers after their brush with disaster last year.

Asked how long he expected the task to take, the Bolton boss added: “If I say 10 years, it will be more than that. It’s a continual rebuild, isn’t it? And you will probably have about 10 managers within that 10 years if you continue to keep picking instead of bringing everyone together.

“If you bring everyone together and support the new consortium and their plan, their vision for the future success, it will be an unbelievable football club. Then you’ll probably have one manager, maybe two.

“They are brilliant. Sharon spoke to me this morning and it’s magnificent support I get from her all the time.

“We have got to get realistic, responsible and respectful.”


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