Manager Keith Hill has given an honest assessment of Saturday’s win over Yeovil Town at Spotland.
Dale claimed all three points with a battling performance against the Glovers, who are bottom of the table. A first half penalty save from Jamie Jones and two quick fire goals shortly after half time earned Dale an important victory, but Hill admits that the visitors made it difficult.
“It was a difficult fixture regardless of the pitch or the conditions - the wind, the rain or the water lying on the pitch – because it was always going to be difficult playing against an opposition who have sort of resigned themselves to their fate. It frees you up when you play without any fear or pressure and it looked like that in the early stages of the game.
“There was no rhythm to us because we had to make four changes [due to the injuries sustained on Tuesday night]. Our rhythm was slightly affected because of that and while rhythm is created on the training pitch, it’s unopposed there. The rhythm has got to be on a matchday and we didn’t quite have that rhythm in the first half. We found ourselves lucky to be nil-nil at half time with the penalty save, but any goalkeeper who saves a penalty has done really well.
“We should have played the conditions better in the first half. I gave the lads a shake up at half time and we responded quite well in the second half. We were on the front foot a little bit more and we got the two goal lead. But I thought it was a game of mistakes today when you look at it and it could easily have been two each.”
The 2-1 win over the Glovers saw Dale move into the play-off places. Keith Hill’s side now sit sixth in the League One table with just eight games left to play. Hill says his players have got to embrace it.
“Our players have got to embrace it, there’s no question about it. If we fail then we take failure full on in the face – we’ve got to. You can’t fear failure and the steps that you have to take to become a better person, a successful person and a successful team, so we’ve got to embrace it, one hundred percent.
“If you look at the teams that we’re challenging –wow. I know what it’s like financially and the teams that are below us. It’s an embarrassment that they’re so far behind us because I know what they’re spending. For me, we’re outstretching them and that’s what gives me an enormous sense of pride.”
The full interview is available to view on Dale Player.