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Keith Hill looks ahead to semi final

15 February 2021

Tranmere Rovers manager Keith Hill is looking forward to Tuesday night’s Papa John’s Trophy semi-final away at Oxford United.

Rovers visit the Kassam Stadium where Karl Robinson’s Sky Bet League One outfit await, with Hill’s men 90 minutes from Wembley if they overcome the U’s. 

Tranmere defeated Peterborough United 2-1 in the previous round at Prenton Park to reach the last four, and Hill is relishing the prospect of facing third tier opposition again.

Hill said: “The players are looking forward to it. We’ve done exceptionally well in the previous rounds to get where we have done, and in the last round we beat League One opponents and we’re going to have to do the same against a very productive and a very attractive Oxford side.

“We are all looking forward to it. We realise it is a semi-final and we realise it’s an opportunity and we’re going to go to Oxford and try to win the game.

“You want to test yourself and we want to pit our wits against Oxford and against Karl Robinson and League One opposition because ultimately that’s where we want to be playing next season, so it is showing the players that they are more than capable of playing against League One opposition.

“We are very respectful of Oxford, but we are going there with a plan to win the game and get to the Wembley Final which could be very special for the Football Club.

“We have to make sure that we are well prepared and that we give everything we can, mentally, tactically and physically and leave everything on the pitch on Tuesday night with no regrets.

“This game is a great game for everybody involved and to look forward to, and we are going there to win it which is our aim.”

Hill says that his TRFC side will travel down to Oxford with “no fear” despite the hosts’ league position.

He added: “There is no fear, despite how good the opposition are, and we are going there to try and impress but ultimately we are going there, and we want to get through to the Final.

“We are very mindful that we have been playing Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday from the beginning of February and we have to spread ourselves evenly as a squad to make sure that we can navigate all the games that we have got and be successful come the end of the season.

“We have trained, and the players have been very bright, very energetic and very enthusiastic and we are looking to the game on Tuesday against Oxford and the remaining league campaign.

“There is going to be justification for team selection and bearing in mind that there are players who have done so well to get us as far as we have done, there is going to be a rich reward for the players.”


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