Manager Keith Hill has been reflecting on Tuesday night’s draw at home to Burton Albion, as well as looking ahead to Saturday’s match at St James Park, in his latest interview.
He told Dale Player: “It was a difficult game and I expected their game plan because they’ve done it all season. They’ve played very similar at home – they don’t score many, they don’t concede many, they’re very resolute, they’ve got good players sticking to a basic system that has worked for them and I believe.
“I don’t want to see my players going percentage football against teams like that, it could really have undone us, that’s why I was so pleased with a point.”
He continued: “I feel as though the supporters can manage the game better on their behalf. The expectation to come and see us do what many a team have failed to achieve to do on Tuesday night was not unrealistic because I was expecting us to beat them, but we have to show patience. We have to make sure that everybody from this point is inclusive in managing our team to the successes that we all want, not expect.
“Arguably in the last 15 games you don’t know how the players are going to react but what they have to do is resort back to the organisation and the know-how of what we need to do. The supporters need to know what they need to do and they can’t bring that anxiety onto the football pitch. That’s where they’re integral in the way that they manage the games with respect to supporting the players, supporting the manager’s tactics and then the players will resort back to know-how. That's the know-how to win games, know-how to manage games, know-how to get jobs done and that’s where we are going into the unknown because we’ve got a young squad. There aren’t too many players who have got the know-how so we have got to embrace them and we have to forgive them for their mistakes and we have to make sure that we let them play happy football.”
Rochdale make the long trip to Exeter this weekend to face the Grecians at St James Park, and Hill is expecting a difficult encounter.
“They’re a very, very good technical and tactical side and they’ve got a very good technical and tactical manager. We’ve got a real statesman of the game in Paul Tisdale. I think he has done a marvellous job at Exeter and I think he’s bringing a new generation of players through. It’s a really difficult game for us and a lot of respect goes from me to Exeter and Paul Tisdale and the fact that he is bringing though a new generation of players this season.”