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INTERVIEW: I'm really happy it's done

Clint Hill on staying with United until the end of the season

24 November 2017

We caught up with defender Clint Hill on Friday afternoon shortly after he agreed to extend his contract with United until the end of the season.

“It was always in the back of my mind to stay until the end of the season,” he said. “I obviously signed a short-term deal so we could get an idea of each other and make sure I could still perform, from the club’s point of view. 

“I’m really happy it’s done. Hopefully we can kick on now, keep up our good recent form and push up the table."

Having never been at a club under short-term contract forms before, he said: "This is the first short-term deal I’ve really had and it does play on your mind that you need to get things sorted.

"I’ve usually had a year or two-year deals, but I could understand this one from the club’s point of view. I’m at the young age of 39 now and I can understand the club trying to protect themselves.

"It was protection for me as well, to see if I could still perform to a decent level and if the club fitted. It ticks all the boxes and I’m happy to sign the extension."

Having already spoken about the fact that this is a club that 'fits' in terms of enjoying his football, he expanded more on his reasons for wanting to be here.

“I had the bonus of being around the group for a couple of weeks before I signed," he explained. "That allowed me to see how they train and what motivates them on a daily basis.

"They ticked all the boxes over that few weeks and it was a no-brainer when the deal did finally arrive.

“The relationship with the manager was always a strong point for me. I obviously worked with him at QPR - and Crystal Palace many years ago - and it was great to reunite with him.

"He treats me well, but I know I’ve got to perform for him and treat him with respect. Hopefully that relationship can help kick us forward in the next few weeks."

The full-blooded appraoch from the experienced centre back has already made him a huge hit with the fans, but he insisted that would have been the same at whatever level he was plying his trade. 

“Even though I only had a short-term deal, the desire and passion was always there to perform well, and that definitely won’t change now that I’m here until the end of the season," he said.

"Unfortunately, Tuesday [Luton] was below my own personal standards, and maybe the team’s standards as well. We’ve got a great chance to rectify that and get another three points, which will give us a decent points return for the week as a whole. That's what we're all aiming for."

A key part of any club getting the best out of their players is for them to be enjoying their football, and that is another box ticked for the for the former-Rangers defender.

“I always enjoy my football when we’re winning," he commented. "If we can get clean sheets to go with that, then even better. As long as we’re winning and performing well I’m happy. It wasn’t quite there on Tuesday night but it hopefully will be on Saturday.

“The talk at the start of the season was about play-offs and that's still our aim. The lads narrowly missed out last season so the pressure and expectation is there to go again and at least get in the play-offs. I think we’ve got a squad capable of doing that."

Another aspect of Hill's time with the club as his been his introduction to coaching - soemthing he is keen to develop over the coming months. 

“The coaching was a big part of why I came here," he said. "I’ve just had a quick chat with the manager about getting involved with that more.

"We talked about me being more involved with the development lads and doing more in training on a day-to-day basis, which will help me progress as an individual. The platform is there to do all of that and I’m really looking forward to it.

“The relationship I’m building up with the fans is obviously a bonus for me. When you come into a club you just want to show the supporters you can still play. They want to see that you really do wnat to play for their club.

"I’ve tried to do that throughout my career and my aim was the same when I came here. Hopefully with more positive results we can climb up the table and that rapport between us and the fans can get even stronger.”

Click HERE to watch an interview with Clint Hill on iFollow United now.   

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