Star's hard work pays off - exclusive

Last updated : 25 January 2006 By Andy Parsons

The former Everton defender was brought to the club in the summer as a left-back with licence to go forward and he was first choice in that position until he was involved in a car crash where he broke his ribs.

Paul Sturrock then made the decision to get the defender's troublesome knee sorted out so Hills missed more games that originally expected.

In came Peter Gilbert from Leicester City and he became first choice in the defensive role and that forced one of last season's best players in Paul Heckingbottom to move on to Barnsley.

Hills then came back into the side at Burnley in more of an advanced role and he has stayed there ever since, and even played in a central role against Leeds on Saturday - so needless to say it has been a topsy-turvy season for the likable player.

He told Footymad: "Obviously after the car crash that was difficult time, but I had a good start to the season but I was struggling with me knee so I had the operation on that at the same time but it has been nice to get back into the side in the last few games. I am just working as hard as I can to keep my place and that is something I have promised the manager I will always do and if the gaffer picks me I am happy.

"I am mostly a left full-back but I work as hard as I can when I am on the pitch. Obviously being in midfield is not my best position but I will continue to work harder, getting myself into the box and being a bit better on the ball, that’s my main aim at the moment.

"I will always try my best in training and if there is something I need to work on before the weekend, I do it then. But as long as we keep winning and as long as I’m playing, I am happy."

In other news, Steve MacLean had no ill effects by playing 45 minutes in the reserves yesterday in a 1-0 defeat to Huddersfield and he will be pushing for a place on the bench against Luton Town on Tuesday.

Wednesday have also withdrawn plans for their training ground proposal with Bloor Homes although are set to make an early resubmission after locals opposed to the project - needless to say the future of Middlewood is vital to the club's finances and not selling the site could prove to be catastrophic.

And Dave Allen is refusing to put his money into the club to fund transfers until supporters group Wednesday hand over their 10percent share in the club, so a reported move for Nottingham Forest's David Friio could fall through.