Manager Keith Hill has been reflecting on his side’s achievements, as well as looking ahead to next season, in his latest Dale Player interview.
The 2014-15 campaign was a record breaking season for Rochdale as they secured their highest ever league finish. They scored more League One goals than ever before and also reached the fourth round of the FA Cup for a consecutive season for the first time in club’s history.
An ambitious Hill says he’s proud of what has been achieved, but wants to continue breaking positive records.
He told Dale Player: “I’m ambitious and I want more - the players also want more.
“We finished eighth and we scored the most goals that the club has ever scored in a League One campaign. We’ve created almost every piece of history that had to be improved upon and we want to do more of that.
“We want to win the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy – maybe that’s our next challenge – and we forget about the FA Cup successes this season and last season. It was the first time in the club’s history that we got to the fourth round in consecutive seasons.
“We’ve got to be thankful for what we’ve received, but also what we’re trying to create as well because for me it’s forward momentum. There will be a select group of players that can carry us forward into next season and the season after that, but there will be one or two additions as well.
“I’m very proud of what we’re trying to achieve but I’m never, ever happy and maybe that’s what drives me on.
“To get promoted last season in our first season back at the football club and then achieve eighth position in League One is a massive success but it’s not enough. I’ll continue to be really aggressively ambitious for these players.”
Hill continued: “We’re really, really excited about the challenges of League One [next season]. What we’ve got to do is make sure that myself, the coaching team, the players themselves and the football club continue to break positive records for the football club. We want sustainability, we want to give ourselves the best opportunity of establishing ourselves as a League One football club and challenge for a play-off place. That’s our plot and our pilot scheme at this moment in time.
“We’ve had massive successes at the football club and we want to continue breaking records. I want to make sure that one day one when I’m no longer at the football club and I pass away that there’s a memorial statue of me at the football club,” laughed Hill.
League One is set to be a very Northern affair next season following Blackpool and Wigan Athletic’s relegation from the Championship, as well as Burton Albion and Bury’s promotion from League Two.
With teams such as Barnsley, Bradford City, Crewe Alexandra, Doncaster Rovers, Fleetwood Town and Oldham Atheltic staying in the division next season, Hill admits that he’s already really looking forward to the challenges that Dale will face.
“Am I excited about playing the likes of Bury, Wigan and Oldham? Of course I am, I think it’s absolutely superb.
“I think it can only be inspiring for the players and for me, the manager, to take on those challenges.
“It also must be absolutely superb for the supporters knowing that every other Saturday we could be playing in what is virtually a local derby when you consider the Yorkshire sides that are in the league as well.”
The full interview is available to view on Dale Player.