Manager Keith Hill spoke to Dale Player following his side’s final game of the season…
“I’d like to congratulate Paul (Cook) and Chesterfield as well as Russ (Wilcox) and Scunthorpe [on their promotion]. It has been a marvellous race from start to finish,” said Hill.
“I said at the start of the season that if we were in touching distance of Chesterfield then we would be successful. We’ve been very, very successful and the players have done everything they possibly can to win that game today but it just wasn’t meant to be. Sometimes things aren’t meant to be, but we’ve been promoted and it gives us more determination to be successful next season.”
He continued: “Realistically we should have been below mid table, so what we’ve done again has been fantastic. Not just financially fantastic, but also from a player point of view. To bring this group of players together and achieve what we’ve achieved is special, really special.
“People go on about having small budgets within leagues. Trust me, we’ve got a small budget within this league. We’ve brought players together and they’ve all made financial sacrifices. The two players – Peter Vincenti and Oliver Lancashire - came and played for less money than they were playing for last season, and what a tremendous turn around it is for them after being relegated last season and promoted this season. I’ve got to make a massive song and dance about the massive financial implications of our football club and what we haven’t spent in comparison to other football clubs who have finished a long, long way below us.
“It’s going to be as equally as difficult financially next season and out on the playing pitch, but I know we’ll be successful because these lads are honest and I trust them. Occasionally they do get it wrong, but the rich rewards of getting it wrong is learning from those wrongs and putting them to rights in the next game and that’s what we’ve done.”
Hill added: “It has been a long, long season with respect to the energy that the staff have had to put in, never mind the players, so they deserve to celebrate, they deserve to go on holiday and then we’ll be well prepared and well invigorated for next season.
“The last time we got promoted I felt a little bit down, whereas this time I’m not disappointed in the slightest. This time we had a chance to win it, whereas last time I felt as though we should have won it. It was a difficult, difficult feat getting in the top three this season and staying there. It’s a magnificent achievement when you see the teams that are underneath us with the money that they’ve spent, are spending, and will continue to spend.”
The full interview is on Dale Player.