'A scoreboard failure': Keith Hill has this assessment on Sunderland's Wembley win over Tranmere Rovers
Keith Hill praised his Tranmere Rovers side for their efforts against Sunderland – and said the scoreline was simply a ‘scoreboard failure’.
The League Two side more than held their own in the Papa John’s Trophy final, but were beaten after Aiden McGeady’s fine through ball allowed Lynden Gooch to score the game’s only goal.
They enjoyed some late pressure too, but failed to build upon some promising moments with Lee Burge relatively untested throughout the contest.
But Hill wasn’t to be disheartened after a display that left him with plenty of encouragement, and feeling as if the only thing wrong was the scoreboard.
And the former Bolton boss urged his side to carry their performance levels into their league fixtures – as they target a return to League One after being controversially relegated on a points-per-game basis last season.
"The only disappointment is the scoreboard,” said Hill, speaking at his post-match press conference.
"I’m so proud of the football club, the players – not just today. I don’t just want to talk about this game in isolation, the tournament has been one of great success and we forget that very easily.
"We’ve played against one of the elite teams in League One and we’ve come up just short. One moment has changed the course of the game,
"I’m so proud of the players. They’ve given me everything since I walked into the building and I’m extremely proud of them.
"Like I said, the only disappointment is the emotional value to the scoreboard – performance-wise, exceptional.”
"We have to carry that performance level and a little bit of hurt, from today into the remaining 13 league games, because our priority has been the league,” he continued.
"We want to play League One football next season. We want to prove that the performance levels against Sunderland Oxford and Peterborough weren't single games in isolation three times.
"Everyone is going to be different in how they respond to this scoreboard failure.
"But we need everyone collectively working to together, to aspire and have ambition to be a League One team next season.