Bolton boss Keith Hill's verdict on unpalatable defeat to Portsmouth

Bolton boss Keith Hill. Picture: Joe Pepler
Bolton boss Keith Hill. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Bolton boss Keith Hill admitted his side’s defeat to Pompey was unpalatable.

The struggling Trotters’ woes continued as they fell to a 1-0 loss at Fratton Park.

Brett Pitman's header in the 66th minute delivered the Blues a much-needed victory – arriving seven minutes after he’d crashed a penalty against the post.

But it was the visitors who were the better team in the first half, with Will Buckley squandering two golden chances and Christian Burgess clearing Thibaud Verlinden’s goal-bound effort off the line.

Hill rued Bolton's missed opportunities and reckons his side deserved something from the game.

He told the Trotters’ website: ‘It was a game of two halves, there were a lot of positives but we got no points.

‘We dominated possession, had goalscoring opportunities – especially in the first half – but didn’t have that ruthless edge.

‘The proposition for Kenny and his team at half-time should have been “We’re losing a football match”.

‘We’re trying to turn the tide around. It’s a positive performance but not even a palatable result.

‘I can take a lot from the performance but I hate losing football matches. It was 1-0 but even if it’s 10-0 we've still got beat.

‘We have to be better at determining our fate in front of goal.

‘It’s a game that lasts 90 minutes. The momentum was with us, we played some lovely football, controlled our opponents and created opportunities.

‘In the second half, I won’t argue Portsmouth were the better side, they had a penalty and scored a goal.’

Bolton remain rooted to the bottom of the table on minus-nine points, having been hit with a 12-point deduction at the start of the campaign for entering administration.

After virtually a complete overhaul of the squad over the summer, Hill's been encouraged by the progress the Trotters have made – but knows there’s more room for improvement.

He added: ‘The planning is meticulous and the players have got to execute their own individual performances better.

‘That’s not me being critical, that’s just the demand of being a winner and representing Bolton Wanderers.

‘We have to do more to turn good performances into winning football matches – it’s fine margins.’