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Club News

Bristol Rovers Pre-Match: Hill

15 March 2013

Rochdale are back on the road this Saturday for the second away trip of the week as they take on Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium.

Dale head into the match following Tuesday night’s goalless draw at York City and while the performance was a contrast to the one seen at Spotland in the 4-1 win over Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday, Manager 
Keith Hill remains in a positive mood.

“When you look at the nine games [since his return to the club] we’ve had three clean sheets away from home but the other two games we’ve lost and conceded three on both occasions so it is about turning them positive clean sheets into goal scoring wins,” said Hill.

“We had a stand out chance the other night [against York] and it would have changed the complexity of the game, but I was relatively pleased with the clean sheet. Their only real effort of the game was on the 89th minute so from that perspective it is job done, but we want to turn those positive clean sheets into winning performances and winning results then we will become a good side because we’re an OK side. 

“When you look at our form at home we’ve lost one game recently, won two and drawn one so we’ve got to start turning them into three points away from home. I’m sure we’ll be able to do that as we continue our development together."

He continued: “The players are starting to understand what I expect from them in training and what I expect from matchdays. It is very intense, it is very invasive, it is very professional, and mentally and physically they’re still catching up.

“As for doing it twice in four days, it is more difficult than supporters would imagine. Reluctantly at times you’ve got to accept that as a Manager, but the rule of thumb is if you can’t win those games, you don’t lose them. The players will warm to and love the environment because it will become a winning environment, it will become productive and we will get our matchday rewards, so there’s not too much frustration.

“The real frustration was Morecambe because it was as though we downed our tools. We can have bad days at the office but we can never have a bad work day with respect to effort and trying to achieve and being mentally strong. We’ve recovered from that and hopefully we’ll recover even more against Bristol Rovers at the weekend.”

The weekend’s opponents head into the encounter following a win over promotion hopefuls Port Vale on Tuesday and Hill is aware of the task ahead: “It’s no surprise that John Ward has gone in there and turned their fortunes around when you look at the squad of players that has been recruited. They’re in great form now and they’ll be promotion favourites next season. They’ve got a League One budget playing in League Two.”

You can listen to the full interview with Hilly on DALE PLAYER now.

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