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Hill Praises Dale's Second Half Performance

2 February 2015

Manager Keith Hill spoke to Dale Player following his side’s 2-2 draw with Coventry City…

Rochdale twice came from behind to secure a more than deserved point from their trip to the Ricoh Arena and produced an excellent second half performance, something Hill was pleased with.

“I won’t complain about the finishing from [Dominic] Samuel and [Sanmi] Odelusi because they were two great finishes but they were as a result of giving away possession when we’ve got possession secured, so I’m disappointed with that.

“However, there’s a lot of the game that I’m pleased with. I’m pleased with the fighting spirit and the second half performance. That was outstanding and on another day I think we win it.

“I was really, really pleased with the way we kept the ball in the second half.

“I think Josh Lillis was outstanding in the second half with the way that he kept the ball and we should have done that in the first half. There was too many times in the first half that when the ball was coming back to him he was clearing it and that helps them. He should have been finding the full backs, he should have been finding Jamie, who in the second half was outstanding – you couldn’t get anywhere near him.”

Hill substituted Joe Rafferty at the interval, moving forward Ian Henderson into the right-back position, something which proved to be another masterstroke from the Gaffer.

“[The change was] one hundred percent tactical. Ian Henderson gave me a strange look when I told where he was playing second half, but it was our out.

“It was our out in the first half but we were very, very slow in using it. Joe Raff sets the goal up for Campsy superbly and I think that’s one of the best team goals that we’ve scored. That’s what we were capable of doing and we tried to work on doing that this week against the opposition.

“For me the distance between the opposition’s back four and their strikers is massive so we wanted exploit that space by keeping possession and I think that’s where the first goal comes from. I don’t think we exploited the weakness of the opposition in the first half enough that’s why I changed it and brought Joe Raff off and got a strange look from Ian Henderson, but Ian Henderson knows that I know what I’m doing
and we got Ian Henderson in for fun in the second half.”

Callum Camps netted his first professional goal with an excellent finish, while Calvin Andrew took his tally for the season to five. Hill was pleased to see both players on the score-sheet.

“Camps is a great player. We’ve got to get the balance right between success in the league and developing players, and that’s what we do. I’m keen to give players like Callum an opportunity and it’s all borne out of training ground performances and training ground education – he’s got to take that onto the pitch and he has done.”

He added: “That’s why we brought Calvin here. He’s fully inclusive and I think he’s disappointed when he doesn’t start the game but one thing I do know is that he an outstanding professional and he’s scored a great goal again today. He gives us a different dimension – he gives the opposition something different to think about.”

The full interview is available to view on Dale Player.

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