KEITH Hill has reiterated his view that a sea-change is necessary in the Wanderers youth ranks.

The Bolton boss has been forthright in his belief that a shake-up is needed in the academy after reviewing the young players at his disposal.

His remarks a fortnight ago that club required “football specimens, not gym bunnies” caused a stir at Lostock but Hill has now revisited the topic – insisting his words should not cause offence. 

“I think people have criticised me this week, suggesting I have attacked the youth team, or the younger players in the squad,” he told The Bolton News. “Don’t be offended. It’s a challenge and I want to know who is going to stand up to it.

“Who wants to play for Keith Hill? Who wants to play for Bolton Wanderers? What have you got to do?

“We have got a list of DNA criteria you need to have as a player. Everybody should be able to achieve it and play for us. I am challenging people, and nobody likes to change, do they?

“What worries me is that people are opposing necessary changes at this football club, necessary to survive financially. We can’t go back to frivolous spending.

“I love developing players and I am brutally honest about it but unfortunately people get offended by it.”

Hill is determined to generate funding by developing youth and making Wanderers more sustainable in the future and says he and assistant David Flitcroft have a clear blueprint for the style of player they want to bring through the ranks.

“There is an identity and a style of play,” he said. “We have got young players who I believe fit into that.

“Callum (King-Harmes) was on the bench because we feel as though, if he spends time with us, we can develop him into our type of player, it’s as simple as that.

“Don’t fear change, don’t fear challenge, don’t go and hide in an office somewhere – get out on the training pitch, do your job, be a coach.”

Asked to clarify who his comments were directed towards, Hill added: “Everybody. Everybody has to change.

“We went into administration because people refused to change. You can’t spend that type of money or run up that type of debt and expect there to be no change.”