Manager Keith Hill looks ahead to Monday night’s FA Cup fourth round tie v Premier League side Stoke City at Spotland…
“We’ve started the New Year really well, including beating Nottingham Forest in the last round of the FA Cup.
“I believe there was an air of expectation because of our previous exploits of beating Leeds at home. I thought the lads stood up to the task tremendously – I watched the game again and I don’t think we rode our luck at all. I think we were more than comfortable in that victory, but Stoke represents a different challenge.
“We’re not taking on Stoke’s finances and we’re not taking on Stoke’s league position in the Premier League - we’re taking on eleven players that represent Stoke as a team. We’ve just got to take away all the sideshows and focus on what we do best and give ourselves the best opportunity to get something out of the game."
Hill continued: “It’s a great occasion for the club, the players and the team. I’ve been saying it all week and it has been my mantra since I took over at the football club that to test yourself, you’ve got be playing against better opposition and our success has brought us that opportunity, not just in the FA Cup, but in the league.
“We were playing League Two football last season and now we’re in League One so we’re constantly testing ourselves. Not only that, we’re actually standing up to the test and then improving.
“I’m really pleased about the opportunity and the prospect of playing Stoke City. We’re in the fourth round of the FA Cup for the second year running, so for the last two seasons at least we’ve been very successful in the FA Cup. We’ve played nine games so far in two seasons in the FA Cup and only lost once, so our ratio is pretty good.
“I’m looking forward to the experience- there’s definitely no fear. The players have earned the opportunity to enjoy themselves.”
The full interview is on Dale Player.