KEITH Hill wants his players to be “winners” – and has played down suggestion he criticised individuals after the midweek victory against Manchester City.

The Wanderers boss is seeking a third straight victory as Fleetwood Town come to the UniBol on Saturday – something the club has not achieved in two-and-a-half years.

But while results have been a cause of optimism, Hill has been called to clarify comments made after the 3-1 win against Manchester City about the performance of defender Yoan Zouma and midfielder James Weir.

Hill insists too much has been read into his post-match appraisal, urging supporters to back his improving side in their quest to claw back ground in the relegation battle.

“Instead of sensationalising what I say I think people should read into the message and what I am really saying. I can emotionally flatline myself and really say nothing,” he told The Bolton News.

“If people are going to set me up or undermine me then I will just go quiet, simple as that.

“But my message is a challenge to the players, you want to be winners. There has got to be a certain amount of anger and aggression but ultimately the relationship I have with the players is solid, 100 per cent they trust me, I trust them.

“I have communicated with James Weir, I have communicated with Yoan Zouma prior to every game we played and after every game we played.

“There’s nothing new except for a few sensationalised headlines but to be honest they don’t mean anything.”

Hill said on Tuesday night that Zouma had to show “more discipline,” adding: “Take no notice of the supporters. He should be oblivious of what the supporters are saying or singing about you, you have to concentrate on your opponent.”

Commenting on Weir, who was substituted before half time against the Blues, he said: “I can’t stand there smiling on the side of the pitch watching people make mistake after mistake and accepting it. There are certain standards that have to be set and that’s why I make those decisions.”

Nevertheless, both Weir and Zouma will be a part of the squad set to face Fleetwood on Saturday, with Hill playing down the severity of what was said on Tuesday night.

“It seems to be that modern day society want to create drama,” he said. “There is none.

“We need to be together, to drive this club forward, which is our intention. But to add a bit of spice to it, a bit of desire, determination. We have won a couple of games but now go and win a third and a fourth. Go and win games because you are good enough. Let’s challenge these players to be better.

“I want Yoan Zouma to be captain of this football club. I need him to start leading. And while he is leading I am going to protect him.”