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Club News

Southend United: Hill Pre-Match

22 March 2013

Manager Keith Hill is calling on his players to maintain concentration and stay resolute as his side come up against Southend United at Spotland this weekend.

Rochdale were forced to settle for a point at home to league leaders Gillingham on Tuesday night despite dominating for large spells, particularly in the first half.

Hill remains happy with the progression he is seeing from the players but wants to start turning positive performances into results.

“There’s a Jekyll and Hyde performance from our team throughout 90 minutes and that is the frustration I’m experiencing at the moment," said Hill. "Tuesday night reminded me very much of the Bristol Rovers game that we dominated. We couldn’t quite withstand the momentum from the opposition during a 20 minute period and that was the frustration on Tuesday because we’ve got no real reward for two very good performances. 

“Looking at the 20 minute period after half time it is quite feasible that the opposition could have won the game and that would have been a travesty because I thought we more than competed, more than controlled and more than matched the best team in the league. If we can withstand that [type of pressure] then we will become a very good side instead of an average side. At the moment we can’t make those major decisions right for 90 minutes which is what ultimately gets you positive results and wins.”

He continued: “It’s about getting the points that we need to get to base camp so we can build again. We probably should have had at least another six to eight points on performances but we haven’t and that’s where the key decisions we make when the opposition has got the momentum have got to be better and we will win games.”

Looking ahead to the weekend’s encounter against the Shrimpers, Hill said: “It’s important that we continue to try and perform with belief but also make strides to turn belief and performances into results – that is key. We have to look at the opposition, we have to look at form, look at their strength and weaknesses and we’ll make them obvious to our own players with our own strategy. But it is about what we do, and if we do what we’re capable of doing for 90 minutes plus and withstand the pressure from the opposition when they’ve got the momentum, then we will win football matches. We’ve got good players and it is just about that extra bit of concentration value and making sure that we’re strong and resolute. That’s what I’m looking for this weekend.”

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