ADMIRED, yes, but Keith Hill draws the line at being ‘inspired’ by the rebuilding job Mark Robins has done at Coventry City.

The Bolton boss spoke highly of the way the Sky Blues have brought through players from their academy and invested money wisely to put themselves in line for promotion to the Championship.

The likes of Cyrus Christie, Callum Wilson and James Maddison are among those who have passed through the youth ranks in recent years – a revival which was overseen at the time by Gregor Rioch, son of Bolton legend Bruce.

“I think they have been brilliant,” Hill said. “I think it was Gregor (Rioch) who started it with their academy and Frankie Bunn, and Mark Robins has done a great job.

“When we were in the ascendancy at Rochdale he got relegated from League One, although they won the Checkatrade, and he then tapped into a marvellous academy.

“He has sold a lot of those players and married up a lot into his first team as well.

“He has recruited well, spent a lot of money to make them stronger, but his business model and football model marries well with what Coventry’s ambitions are.

“I think the style of play they have is brilliant and I think he’s two or three years into a model that will eventually see Coventry promoted from League One trying to establish themselves higher up the league pyramid.

“I love the way the academy has integrated into the first team and that they have created saleable assets to reinvest money into ready-to-get-promoted League One players.”

Asked by one reporter if he could take inspiration from Robins, however, Hill stopped him quickly in his tracks.

“Inspiration? We have been managing round about the same time, about 12 years,” he said.

“People like my dad inspire me, or David Flitcroft inspires me. Mark Robins is a competitor and I respect him 100 per cent but he doesn’t inspire me.”