KEITH Hill says he will have to rest new signing Daryl Murphy this week to ensure he is ready for Wanderers’ next League One game against Blackpool.

The Republic of Ireland international had not played competitively since May, when he lined up against Bolton for Nottingham Forest in the Championship.

But with a lack of attacking options on the bench, Hill felt he had no option but to keep the veteran striker on the pitch for the entirety of Bolton’s 1-0 defeat at Portsmouth on Saturday.

“I hadn’t planned on playing Daryl Murphy 90 minutes – I’d planned on 55-60 and then get him ready for Blackpool but I’m probably going to have to put him in ice now until Thursday. That’s the situation we’re in,” said Hill.

Wanderers have not won in four games since Hill was installed as manager but have taken a point against both Oxford United and Sunderland at home.

The new boss sees improvement in his side but is keen to get a first victory on the board.

“We’re getting all the backing we can from the supporters, from Sharon, Emma and everyone involved in the new consortium but it’s the situation we’re in,” he said.

“I think we look better as a side, though, there is that. But when I go out and meet my friends they’ll just tell me they are not bothered about how we played, they’ll just see the result.”

Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett came under fire from his own supporters during the opening 45 minutes at Fratton Park but was pleased with his players’ response after the break.

Pompey clinched the win with Brett Pitman’s header, five minutes after he had hit the woodwork with a penalty.

“We looked pretty nervous in the first half and so we needed to improve,” he said. “We spoke to the players about coming through that.

“No disrespect to Bolton, but the answer to that was within ourselves. We had to earn the confidence because nobody was going to hand it to us.

“We did open up a bit more in the second half and were able to create a lot of chances. The penalty was missed, but we got the goal and kept a clean sheet.”