HARRY Brockbank has become the latest Wanderers player to suffer an injury setback – but Keith Hill is now more relaxed that his squad is starting to cope.

The highly-rated young defender returned to the training ground last week but quickly pulled up with a muscular issue which has set him back a few weeks on the road to a first team comeback.

Several Wanderers are queueing up for the treatment room this international break, joined recently by Liam Bridcutt and Will Buckley, but Bolton boss Hill finds solace in the fact other squad members are getting up to speed.

Players will continue to be pushed over the next few days as Hill and his side build towards the weekend’s visit of Rochdale but there are signs that a piecemeal team is now reaching a more competitive level.

“We are actually getting fitter now,” Hill told The Bolton News. “We’re getting more robust as a team and a group. I have got less fear of picking up injuries at the minute because I see players who are looking to take opportunities.

“Some of it is out of our control, we’re playing a physical game in a physical league, you’ll get contact injuries. What we’re mindful of is the training ground stuff, fatigue, muscle injuries that are avoidable.

“We’ve had a recurrence with Harry Brockbank, which is a shame. He thought he was fit enough to get back on the training pitch but he felt it again. I don’t like that type of scenario.

“The result of the injuries I am very mindful that they are racking up but there’s nothing we can do about them. We have to press on. For me, the injuries create opportunities.”

Though a first victory has proved elusive for Hill thus far, he is confident the quality of players which have been brought to the club since the start of September is capable of securing safety.

Considering the points deductions past and potentially future, that is quite a bold claim, but Hill has certainly not been frightened to throw out a bit of hyperbole to emphasise his belief.

“Looking at performances I think we’re still in the making but we could be a very good League One side,” he said. “It’s evident by the teams we’ve played.

“I think eventually, we could comfortably be a top six League One side. And we have to repeat somewhere over the next 34 games promotion form. And we will.

“It’s hard when Buckley, Bridcutt, Wright, O’Grady and a few others are injured. It’s testing but I love doing this job and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Hill has also been able to bring more out of some of the players he inherited from Phil Parkinson. Remi Matthews’ confidence has been restored after the early-season bombardment, while Jason Lowe’s midfield performances have been up there with the best of them.

“It was vitally important that I worked with the players that were here,” Hill said. “The conditions they were working under and the instability that was created by takeover, no takeover, etc, not being paid and all that drama, it needed dealing with.

“We have tried to bring everyone together and make the whole football club more robust for the League One campaign.”

Hill has worked hard to get his team to subscribe to his way of thinking and is confident that a first victory of the season will materialise soon.

“I honestly think things are improving and I honestly think we’ll go soon – that’s why I am sat here and why I keep saying it. There’s no question in my mind that we can stay up,” he said.

“It’s why I wanted this job. It doesn’t scare me. I don’t hide any emotions, if I need to express something I’ll do it, but I am a deep thinker and I spend a lot of time considering how we’ll take on the 34 games we’ve got left.

“I feel like I know where we need to go. We can’t go too gung-ho where we start conceding five goals again to try and score a goal.

“They are small processes that you have to go through to change that but they are the hardest ones and it’s about convincing the players that it’s achievable, that everyone can score goals whether you’re a left-back, a centre-back and midfielder, whatever. You all need to chip in.”