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Hill hails committed Tranmere display

8 December 2020

Keith Hill hailed a committed display as he assessed Tranmere’s 2-1 Papa John’s Trophy victory versus Manchester City U21s on Tuesday evening. 

Goals from Danny Lloyd and Ollie Banks booked Rovers’ place in the last 16 of the competition as the Whites responded well to falling behind in the contest. 

Liam Delap had put the visitors ahead in the 17th minute of the match, though Lloyd levelled the scores ten minutes later before Banks' late penalty completed the turnaround at Prenton Park.

Providing his verdict on proceedings, Hill said: “I’m pleased with the effort and commitment. We want to play with intensity, speed the game up, create more goalscoring opportunities, press the opponents and I thought we did that today against a very difficult opponent. I was risking everything tonight; we could have got exposed by doing what I asked the players to do but they committed to it and did it really well.  

“We were playing against an excellent Manchester City side, who play in a mirror image of their first-team. They are very comfortable in possession, very quick when they face our goal but we were committed and the players got their just rewards in the end.” 

Despite trailing on the night, the Tranmere boss was particularly impressed with the response shown by his players to come out on top against a difficult opponent. 

“The players could have given in at that point [going 1-0 down] and said, ‘We can’t do it that way,’ but they stuck in. On turnovers, we had to be better in possession and I thought the goal Danny Lloyd scored typified a great goal from a turnover, a completed pass and a counter-attacking move. We’ve got to work harder at speeding the game up in and out of possession, which I believe will create more scoring opportunities for us.  

“Once they went down to ten-men, we got the ball wide. It’s very difficult playing against that team, even at ten-men.” 

On advancing to the next stage of the competition, Hill added: “The further we go in this competition, the better it is for us as we can share the workload.  

“It’s just another opportunity. It creates another game for the squad, and the players want to play. They have to be ready and these types of games prepare the players. It’s good and it gives me plenty of options to have a look at players.” 

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