With the season now over, planning has already started for League One.
Speaking to www.rochdaleafc.co.uk, Manager Keith Hill chats about his aims for next season and recruitment.
“The jigsaw that we had been building was a league two jigsaw, now it’s going to transform into a jigsaw for League One, but with similar sorts of principles and the identity that we’ve created again. I’m enthusiastic about the future and about taking the majority of this squad to the next phase of our development.
“We can continue to develop with the group of players that we’ve got, but we’ll have to recruit as well. League One is a lot better than it was when we were last in that division. Having said that, the Huddersfield’s of this world, the Southampton’s and the Charlton’s were in League One at the time, and I do believe that the footballing world, especially in England, is getting closer and closer. That means that game has become harder, harder and harder.
“I fully expect us to be successful, but we’re going to have to be really patient. We’re going to have to dig in and it’s feasible to suggest that we’re not going to win as many games, but our aim and our intention is to be successful in League One and that means aiming as high up the league as we possibly can and upsetting a few of the big clubs. And there are big clubs when you consider the teams that are coming down and the teams that are already in there like Sheffield United and Bristol City - they’re big ex-Premier League/Championship clubs. It’s going to be a difficult task, but that we won’t endure – we’ll enjoy it.”
Hill continued: “I’m looking forward to a relaxing but a hard close season, with respect to recruiting. I have no fear of taking the nucleus of this squad into League One. I do feel as though we have at least League One calibre players, that the structure of the team is at least League One, and that our defensive and attacking employment can go hand in hand in with League One, so from that respect I won’t be in too much of a rush.
“I know that the supporters will be keen to recruit, but they’ve got to trust me. It’s feasible that I’ll be taking non-league players into league one with me because there are one or two players that I believe can be equally as successful as Scotty Hogan.
“They [the supporters] have got to trust me. I remember at the end of last season there was a contemplation with respect to the amount of players that I had released and where we were going to get the goals from, but we’ve had enough goals this season. It’s just a case of enjoying the debate as supporters, enjoying your own declarations and enjoying your own opinions, but ultimately what you’ve done this season is trusted me, my staff and trusted the players.
“I hope you enjoy the debate over the summer, but trust me, anyone that I do recruit will enhance us next season.”