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Keith Hill's Pre Match Interview - Port Vale

27 November 2015

Manager Keith Hill spoke to Dale PlayerHD ahead of the visit of Port Vale on Saturday.

The Valiants come to Spotland after four consecutive League One victories and Hill is expecting a difficult encounter.

“They’re a good side, they’re playing very well and they are full of confidence.

“I think Rob [Page, Port Vale Manager] had done a fabulous job and I think there’s a little bit of stability at the football club now. He’s getting the pattern of play that he wants to imprint on the football club with his philosophy, so fair play to him.

“I’m really pleased for him and I hope it continues for him personally. 

“But we’re prepared Port Vale. We’ve always tended to do well against Port Vale and we’ve always tended to play well against them. We’re looking for something similar to our previous encounters.”

Dale head into the game on the back of the long midweek trip to Gillingham. Over 500 miles were travelled for the Tuesday night game, but Hill says that can’t be used as an excuse on Saturday.

“It can have an impact, but no excuses. There was a little bit fatigue but we were in training yesterday [Thursday] and we were nice and bright. 

“It’s about making sure that we’re dealing with making sure that we’ve got the points ticking over on a regular basis, whether that’s one or three points.

“We’ve got to do everything we possibly can to get some sort of continuity of performance, but more importantly, continuity of points, whether, like I said, it’s one or three points on a regular basis. 

“We’ve got that spirit about us [to bounce] and I think we’re in a positive position. There’s a lot to play for and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Jamie Allen and Matty Lund will again miss out through injury, with Allen not expected to return to action this year.

Allen, who sustained dead-leg at the end of October is continuing to receive treatment on the calf problem, while Lund is sidelined with a thigh strain.

“Jamie Allen has got a really, really difficult injury to manage and he probably won’t be back until January, whereas I couldn’t really tell you with Matty Lund," said Hill.

“I think he’ll be on the training pitch within the next 10 days, but again, I’ve got to give players the opportunity to get match fit on the training ground so we’ll add in some bounce games next week and the week after. Hopefully that’ll prepare us for what will be a very difficult month with respect to fixtures, but also a great month with the FA Cup and the four league fixtures that we’ve got up until Scunthorpe game. I’m really looking forward to it.

“I want to see where we are after 23 games. We’re sitting pretty – I haven’t got any disappointment, I’ve got a lot of encouragement and a lot of learning out of the first 19 games, but the next four are really, really important to gauge where we’re going to be in January.”

The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD. 

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