Manager Keith Hill has been reflecting on last year’s FA Cup run, as well as looking ahead to Saturday’s FA Cup first round tie, in his latest Dale Player interview…
Rochdale reached the fourth round of the competition last season, recording wins over Torquay United, Rotherham United and Leeds United along the way.
While reflecting on last year’s cup run, Hill told Dale Player: “It didn’t get in the way of our priority which was getting promoted. At that time we were in a real situation where we could get promoted and we had to deal with that pressure, which was ultimately achieved. To get promoted in our first full season back was a massive achievement. I think the FA Cup run gave us positive energy and the players were looking forward to it and so were the supporters. Last season was a magnificent achievement.”
Rochdale have been drawn away to Northampton Town in the first round of this year’s competition. Hill hopes that his side can take their league form into the tie.
“That’s the glory or the uncertainty of an FA Cup run [you don’t know how far you’ll progress], but one thing that’s certain is that is doesn’t affect our league standing.
“I feel as though we’re in really, really good league form and now we’ve got to try and replicate our league form in the FA Cup. If we do then there’s a chance we can re-create [last season’s run].”
But Hill is under no illusion that Saturday’s game at Sixfields will be difficult.
“If we were in the same league as Northampton then they would be favourites to win this tie. If we were in the same league as Northampton they would be favourites to finish above us, so that’s the difficulty of this tie.
“They’re a good side, they’re one of the favourites for promotion this season under Chris Wilder who has been there, seen it, done it, and it is going to be a difficult fixture for us. But what I do understand is that we’ll be favourites for this fixture due to where we are in the league and probably because Northampton are in League Two.”
Hill has also been sharing his memories of last season’s cup run with us. HERE's what he had to say.