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Hill: The Players Will Be Up For The Task

23 October 2015

Manager Keith Hill is looking forward to Saturday’s encounter against Oldham Athletic, Rochdale’s second derby match in the space of a week.

It has been an exciting week for Dale, with a trip to Bury's Gigg Lane last Saturday, a fixture against Coventry City on Tuesday night and the visit of the Latics this weekend.

Speaking ahead of the match, Hill told Dale PlayerHD: “It’s a good league. It’s a northern based league and it’s encouraging that we’ve worked so hard to play the likes of Bury, Coventry City and Oldham. I think it’s brilliant for the supporters and we’re looking forward to the game.

“I think we’re in the process now of trying to take care of performances and hopefully performances will lead to results. I’ve been really encouraged by the response of the players and the response of the players throughout the whole of the season.

“Like I’ve previously said, I think I put too much pressure on the players, myself and the club to be successful but we’ve just got to focus on performances, both individually and collectively and I think we’ll be ok.”

Dale head into the game at Spotland on the back of two clean sheets and Hill admits that has given his players a big boost.

“The players were really, really encouraged by the clean sheet against Bury and they took that attitude and application into Tuesday’s fixture against a very difficult opponent. 

“I like the way Coventry play and I like the way Tony Mowbray sets his team up. It’s very adventurous and it’s very mentally taxing playing against them. We took them on in our own way and I thought it was a very, very entertaining goalless draw. 

“When we looked back at the footage and analysed the game, Ian Henderson, Jamie Allen, Scott Tanser and Joe Bunney have outstanding chances to score for us, but having said that, Josh Lillis makes three outstanding saves. So on reflection, I was really pleased with the performance, really pleased with the desire to win and it was a winning performance on another day. We came up against a difficult opponent and I’m really pleased and encouraged with the clean sheet and the point.”

And Hill knows that desire will important in Saturday’s derby.

“It’ll be evident all the way through our season and as long as it’s evident, then the rest will be forgiven. 

“That desire, that application, that want and that thirst to represent the supporters and to represent our DNA and the way that we do things - that’s what’s really important and that’s what will bring us success. 

“We can’t look too keenly at a set of results, we just got to focus on what we do best, the players that we’ve got available and be encouraged by performances.

“We know that it’s a local derby – we’re representing the fans and we’re obviously at home. The players will be up for the task, there’s no question about that.”

The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD. 

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