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Hill confident lessons will be learned from Walsall defeat

5 December 2020

Keith Hill is confident Tranmere will learn from their mistakes as he analysed his side’s performance during a 3-1 home defeat by Walsall on Saturday afternoon. 

Goals from Elijah Adebayo, Wes McDonald and Dan Scarr condemned Rovers to a first league defeat since October 31, with Liam Feeney’s first-half strike cancelled out.

Assessing the key moments that decided the contest, Hill said: “We’ve created a good standard in and out of possession and today we just fell off that. We had studied Walsall and knew they were going to press and counter-attack, and our middle third decision-making in possession cost us the game today. They had 18 shots, with 13 on target, and that’s the most traffic that our defence and Scotty has faced. It’s a great learning curve and it’s time for the players to reset but not overanalyse. What we saw today from Walsall is, potentially, what we could expect a lot of teams to do. I think they delivered an excellent away performance, but I think we helped them. 

The Tranmere boss added: “The game-decider was the first 20 minutes of the second-half. We made simple mistakes in possession, when we should have been retaining the ball and attacking them. We had players getting set to attack and, on the turnover, we had players out of possession. We didn’t get the midfield transition right today.  

“You learn as you’re winning games but you probably learn more when you lose a game. It’s not a time to panic, overanalyse or self-doubt but the players are responsible for poor performances.” 

Despite suffering a first loss as manager of the side, one positive Hill was keen to take away was the return of 2,000 home supporters inside Prenton Park for the first time since February. 

“It’s different, and we’ve got to get used to the supporters being back in the stadium,” he said. “They were brilliant in their support of the players being the twelfth man. The players will get used to it again, it’s been strange not having the supporters in the stadium. It’s about getting used to the demands that the home supporters put on you as a team and the players have to accept responsibility and grow with it. I’m just upset we couldn’t deliver the perfect performance.” 

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