KEITH Hill believes his players are starting to make big physical strides – but that won’t stop him keeping the pressure on during the international break.

The Bolton boss has had to contend with the absence of up to eight players at once through injury but says those who have avoided the treatment room are now getting to the levels he requires.

Hill has ramped up the intensity of sessions but has had very few “preventable” injuries resulting from over-training.

The policy seems to be working – with Wanderers finishing strong against Blackpool on Monday. And Hill has vowed to keep challenging his squad over the coming days.

“There’s still room for improvement,” he told The Bolton News. “We’ve got a break now and we need to use it to our advantage.

“The training sessions are going to be hard but they are not long sessions, they are focussed on how we want to play – dynamic, intelligent energy.

“We can’t push them into any training ground injuries, and we haven’t had anything so far they have all been from opposing players. But we need to make those players more robust by the way we train.

“Most of the players, if not all, are improving under the strict, physical way we want to play. They are rules, I suppose, and they need to stick by them.”

Hill is sticking to a policy he feels reaped dividends at Rochdale, who consistently punched above their weight with modest resources.

“They will get pushed. I can’t change the way I want to train the players and everybody has got to understand that – whether it’s the medical department, the players, the fitness coach. It is just the way I work,” he said.

“People say I haven’t had any success, but I have. I have had massive success individually with players who still phone me up and say they wish they were still training with me.

“I’ve been promoted with the lowest budget in the league. I’ve finished eighth in League One with the lowest budget, developing and selling players. I know what I am doing and everyone has got to understand that.”