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Hill: Back To Basics

28 September 2015

Manager Keith Hill has told Dale PlayerHD that he can’t dwell on Saturday’s defeat to Millwall but that the game is another learning curve for the players and for himself.

The Gaffer, who has been reflecting honestly on the match, said: “It’s always about learning – we can’t forget but we can’t keep bringing it back up because the players will get anxious if you do.

“They’ve been absolutely superb all season defensively, incredible in fact, and we haven’t seen any signs of what happened on Saturday, happening in previous games. I’ve been really, really pleased with the defensive structure of the side.

“I think we helped Millwall over-come what has been a difficult start for them, especially at home – there was too much charity.

“There are one or two things that we have to solve but it’s not a question of throwing all the toys out of the pram and getting the hump. I’ve done a lot of assessing and evaluating over the weekend and I think that I made a few mistakes.

“I think I made mistakes in the set-up of the team. We looked at the opposition and I gave the boys a game plan – you could argue that they didn’t stick to it or they didn’t enforce it, but looking back I think in hindsight I was as much to blame for the defeat as the boys were. I take a lion’s share of the responsibility for the selection of the side and the set-up of the tactics.”

Rochdale currently sit seventh in the division on 14 points ahead of Tuesday night’s League One fixture against Shrewsbury Town at Spotland.

Dale’s home form has been excellent, with Keith Hill’s side winning three out of four league games and recording a penalty-shoot out win over Coventry City in the Capital One Cup.

The Gaffer admits that’s pleasing and says it’s important that Dale concentrate on themselves ahead of the visit of the Shrews.

“We have to find a remedy for the last two defeats away from home and that’s down to me to solve. It might be personnel, it might be time to change the tactics, but we’ve been very good at home. We’ve been very good at home for the majority of the time I’ve been at the football club, so I’m pleased and looking forward to the game against Shrewsbury on Tuesday night. 

“I know a lot about Shrewsbury but it’s about me trying to work out the best way for us to win. We’ll obviously look at Shrewsbury, but [we can’t] focus too much. Maybe that’s what we did on Saturday- we perhaps focused too much on the opposition rather than ourselves and I think one or two of the players ended up making decisions on what they were expecting Millwall to do, instead of what they did.

“We can’t confuse the players and we have to make sure that we keep it simple. It’s about us but obviously preparing the players for the opposition instead of the players over analysing and over thinking the opposition. 

“I want intelligent football players and I want us to play to our basic strengths. Sometimes when you’re doing well there is a feeling that you’re better than you’ve previously been and that’s dangerous because we’re an honest, hard-working, basic footballing side. 

"We don’t have superstars and we don’t have player who are luxuries – we have good basic football players, who are hungry, who work-hard and are really fit, and we have to remind the players that’s what they are. They shouldn’t complicate it, they shouldn’t spend too much time on the ball. We’ve got to get back to knowing ourselves and working to our strengths, instead of being this façade of football’s perception of what we are.”

The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD. 

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