As Dale prepare for this weekend’s trip to league leaders Bristol City, Manager Keith Hill has been reflecting on when the two sides met earlier in the season.
Rochdale earned a point at Spotland against the Robins in August and were close to securing all three points, all but for an excellent late save from Frank Fielding.
“We could have taken all three points but I think a draw was arguably a fair result,” Hill told Dale Player.
“I think in the first half we were fortunate to get to half time. They were just taking over the game and I think half time just gave us a little bit of breathing space and stopped the momentum of the opposition. I thought we were excellent second half and arguably we could have nicked it right at the end all but for a superb save from Frank Fielding.”
Saturday’s opponents are currently five points clear at the top of the League One table and Hill believes that’s deserved.
“They’re justifying their position at the top of the league. I think they were everyone’s favourites at the start of the season along with Preston.
“They’re doing exceptionally well under Steve [Cotterill], who is an ex-manager of mine.
“He’s a superb manager, they’ve got good coaching staff down there and they’ve got an excellent side – their recruitment drive makes a difference.
“They’ve got a superb playing surface as well, which should suit us. When you look at the pitches we've played on in two of our last three away game - Peterborough United and Coventry City - then this is a great working pitch.
“I personally think that they’ll win the title and I think it’ll be just rewards for their recruitment drive, as well as Steve’s mentality and approach as a Manager.
And Hill was in a positive mood as he looked ahead to Saturday's match at Ashton Gate.
“We see it as an opportunity to pick up points. We’re not playing against the league table – we’re playing against a selected eleven that Steve chooses because he can change it around if you look at the squad of players that he’s got.
“We’ve seen it before a couple of weeks ago at Colchester when they beat them. Bristol City found themselves three-nil down at half time that day.”
The full interview is available to view on Dale Player.