Bolton Wanderers manager Keith Hill has claimed that speculation over his future at the club is “unfair”, insisting he intends to remain with the Trotters long-term.
A run of nine defeats from their last 11 league games has left Wanderers rooted to the foot of the League One table, 20 points adrift of safety with just 13 games of their season remaining, prompting some to question Hill’s future at the club.
Hill however, believes that scrutiny is unjust, because of the situation he walked into at when he took over at Bolton at the end of August, when the club had just received a 12-point deduction for entering administration, and had just a handful of senior players at their disposal.
Speaking to the Bolton News about those discussions around his future at the club, Hill said: “It has always been a long-term plan but there seems to be a short-term debate.
“I think that’s pretty unfair. I don’t remember any debates last season, except around Ken Anderson. “There seems to be a lot of debates around my future at the football club, which I think is a bit crass.”
Indeed, it seems Hill is still happy in his role at the club, and believes he is still the right man to ultimately lead Bolton forward again, as he continued: “My remit shouldn’t have changed. I previously mentioned some time ago that I shouldn’t be seen as the fall guy for what has happened at this club. I wouldn’t want to be thrown under the bus.
“I am enjoying this job and love every minute of every day trying to make this club better. Don’t get me confused with an angry man, I am not. I will protect this group of players.”
Reflecting on the continued impact the club’s past situation has on his position at Bolton, Hill added: “We came out of an earthquake, administration, and there is a lot of debris still to clear.
“Some people will never understand how difficult this season has been for me, the players, the new owners and equally as important, for the supporters.”
Do you know who these Bolton players last played for before joining the Trotters?
Next up for Hill and Bolton is a clash with local rivals Accrington Stanley on Saturday afternoon, with Wanderers looking for revenge for a 7-1 thrashing in the reverse fixture earlier this season.
I do think Hill has a point here.
Given the situation he found himself in when he arrived at the club, avoiding relegation – which now looks almost impossible – was never going to be an easy task, regardless of who was taking it on.
Even so, football is a results business, and right now the fact that Bolton look like going down without much of a fight isn’t going to be doing Hill any favours, especially when you consider what it could mean for their chances next season, so you can understand why there may have to be some questions around his future.
Indeed, you could almost argue that Hill’s relative success earlier in his time at the club, when it looked as though Wanderers at least had some chance of putting up a fight against relegation, is now coming back to haunt, given the rise in expectations it may have led to around the club.