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Hill: Expectation Is An Absolute Killer

29 December 2014

Manager Keith Hill spoke to Dale Player following Sunday's defeat at home to Fleetwood Town...

"I’ve just got to look at the performance and not the result. Results will reflect performances and for whatever reason there seemed to be a lack of belief and a negative feel to the whole day.

"It looked like there was too much fear in the players’ performance, especially in the first half. We started the game well and had the first real opportunity and then all of a sudden there seemed to be an air of negativity that just swelled into the stadium and it seemed to get into the players. The players became nervous and reckless in decision making and before you know we’re 2-0 down as a result of shooting ourselves in the foot.

"I didn’t expect us to be nervous, I didn’t expect there to be any anxiety in the players but that’s what we got in the first half. We have to forget about expectation and the players have to forget about expectation. They have to feel free and they have to enjoy - they can’t endure any pain of expectation.

"The fact of the matter is that we’re shooting for the moon and we’ve had an unbelievable 18 months. It has been absolutely magnificent and the players have been responsible for that and they don’t need to apologise or be apologetic in the way that they performed today for a bad result. I’m expecting more than that because performances will reflect results and today our performance was nowhere near a true reflection of our identity.

"Their ‘keeper has made four unbelievable saves but that’s what he’s there for and I think he’s an excellent goalkeeper. They’ve scored from two set plays and saw out the game comfortably. I think Proctor was superb all day and caused us problems, but if I’m being honest looking at the whole game, I think we caused ourselves a hell of a lot of problems. And it’s not down to shape, it’s not down to tactics, it’s not down to formation, it’s down to individuals self-doubting a little bit and struggling slightly with self-confidence because there’s an air of expectation.

"I didn’t do the press after the Aldershot game because I was really, really, really disappointed, even although we won 4-1, with a little bit of expectation with the stadium. I chose to bite my lip then and I choose to now.

"We’re very privileged at this club because we’ve had a whirl wind 18 months. We’re not going to win every game but we’re going to compete in every game. We can’t destroy what we’ve done to this football club with expectation because it is an absolute killer. We have to be careful because we’re in a position where we have to support everything at this football club and the way that we’re going forward because if we don’t, we’ll back down to League Two very sharpish.”

The full interview is available to view on Dale Player.

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