Keith Hill: Bolton Wanderers boss reacts to suspended five-point deduction

Former Blackburn Rovers defender Keith Hill took charge of Bolton in August

Bolton boss Keith Hill says he has no sympathy for other League One clubs after his side escaped a further points deduction for failing to fulfil games.

Wanderers were given a five-point deduction, suspended for 18 months, relating to two unplayed matches.

The Trotters did not fulfil their fixtures against Brentford last season and Doncaster Rovers earlier this term.

The Greater Manchester club had already received a 12-point deduction for entering administration in May.

Saturday’s win against MK Dons moved Wanderers into a positive points tally for the first time this season and Thursday’s announcement kept them on one point, 12 from safety.

“I’m really pleased for the new owners,” said Hill, who was appointed on 31 August, three days after Football Ventures (Whites) Limited completed its takeover.

“For us to not receive further punishment is testament to their belief. We can certainly stay in the league and we’re going to give it our best shot.

“Nothing has changed with my thinking. There’s a certain number I think we need to get points-wise out of the next 30 games and that’s not changed.

“There will be an enormous expectation but we still have a lot of work to do. We need at least 50 points so we need another 49 in the remaining games. That could see us home.”

Bolton pleaded guilty to the charges at 14 November’s hearing and subsequently a disciplinary commission also ruled they will be handed a financial penalty.

Wanderers were fined £20,000 for the unplayed Brentford game and £50,000 for the Doncaster match, with half of both amounts also suspended for 18 months.

‘The impossible dream is now a reality’ – Hill

Last term’s match against Brentford was called off 16 hours before kick-off and was initially rearranged for 7 May, before being called off altogether, with the Bees awarded three points for a 1-0 win.

Their game against Doncaster was called off by the club without the knowledge of Rovers or the EFL, with Wanderers having fielded just three senior outfield players in their heavy defeat at Tranmere just three days before.

That match will now be rescheduled and a date confirmed “as soon as possible”.

Hill was asked to respond after a Doncaster fan told BBC Radio Manchester that the decision was “a disgrace”.

“No. Simple as that. Nobody knows what the new consortium have gone through,” Hill said.

“Nobody knew what the club went through over the summer as they wrestled to get the club out of administration with the previous owner. Football Ventures did not deserve to be punished.

“I have no thought process leading into sympathy for any other football club in League One.

“As a football management team and a group of players, we’ve been focused on the games and that’s been evident with performances and results.

“It gives us a clear pathway now knowing what we need to do. The impossible dream is now a reality.”

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