30 April 2022

Keith Hill predicts positive future for relegated Scunthorpe

30 April 2022

Scunthorpe boss Keith Hill insists the future is bright as they prepare for life in the National League.

Winless in 15 games and long relegated from League Two, the Iron have suffered the most miserable of seasons.

They will be relegated with the least points any side has mustered since Doncaster dropped out in 1998.

But after seeing seven teenagers give their all in the 1-1 draw at home to Hartlepool, with goalkeeper Owen Foster named man of the match on his debut and striker Cameron Wilson scoring a first career goal, Hill cut a satisfied figure.

He said: “There was a lot of good things. It was superb. A lot of building work is going on here – energy, intelligence is needed, and the players are willing to learn and commit to a plan.

“The young lads in there today – so many of them – it’s a privilege to work with them and give them an opportunity. They showed courage to try and win a football match, that was evident.”

Wilson’s goal came after the restart as he latched onto a loose ball and raced away to score.

Hill added: “Cameron took his goal well and he should never forget that.

“He should be humble to the game and strive to be the best he can be. Every day, minimum 500 touches, own the ball. Learn from it.

“Of that starting XI, I think eight will start next season! Someone asked the other day that question and I’ve been planning that since Christmas.

“I won’t go too deep but you have to plan with what you have now. I would be foolish to rip this to pieces because we can sign players but we need new players to help the squad and make them more streetwise.

“It was positive today. What I’m trying to create is different to what it was when I took over. There’s a lot of scar tissue from recent seasons and we have to rid them of what’s gone on.”

After Pools levelled through Nicky Featherstone’s penalty, the game was halted for around three minutes as tennis balls were thrown onto the pitch and four supporters entered the playing surface.

Hill said: “People made their feelings known and it didn’t affect the players, it could affect the football club with sanctions and I find it highly embarrassing – what happened last week at Oldham was super embarrassing.”

Pools boss Graeme Lee, his side backed by 1,700 fans dressed as NHS staff in following the club’s tradition of final away game fancy dress, said: “We have dominated games and been sucker-punched and it was the same today.

“It’s pleasing to create the opportunities but disappointing not to take them.

“The fans and the following was immense. I said to the players if they can give their efforts in a game, then they will be appreciated.

“We have to let our fans see what we are doing and believe in what we are doing. Our last away game, the fans have made an unbelievable gesture to the NHS but it was very special.”

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