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Hill: It Has Been Encouraging

4 September 2015

Manager Keith Hill has been reflecting on the opening month of the season, as well as looking ahead to Saturday’s League One fixture against Fleetwood Town, in his latest interview.

Dale picked up ten points from an available 15 in August and currently sit sixth in the table after losing just one game out of five. Hill is pleased with how the 2015-16 campaign has started.

Hill told Dale PlayerHD: “We’ve been pleased since we came back from pre-season. I saw a real appetite from the players and they were very convincing in the work that they did during pre-season, and that has led into the first month of pre-season.

“I think we were very unlucky to be beaten by Walsall. I think it was a very close match and I certainly haven’t been surprised by what Walsall have done. 

“With respect to what we’ve done, I’m really pleased.”

Before the season kicked off, Hill made no secret of the fact that he’d like his side to conceded less goals than last year’s campaign. Dale currently have the best defensive record in League One having conceded just two goals. Dale's form led to defender Jim McNulty receiving a nomination for the Sky Bet League One Player of the Month for August, something which didn’t surprise Hill. 

“It has been encouraging. I think we’ve defended as unit better and with more responsibility. I think Jim has helped in that and I think Oliver Lancashire has started in fine form and Josh Lillis has too. 

“Our full back areas of the pitch area very competitive when you consider that we’ve got Scott Tanser, Michael Rose, Rhys Bennett and Joe Rafferty, who can compliment those already playing in Andy Cannon and Tom Kennedy. Ashley Eastham came in for the game against Hull City and then Oliver Lancashire proved his fitness and got back into the side because of the good form that he’s kept. 

“It’s no surprise to me that Jim McNulty got nominated when you’re keeping clean sheets on a regular basis – it can’t go unnoticed.”

Dale make the trip to the Highbury Stadium on Saturday afternoon and Hill is expecting a difficult encounter.

“Is it a good football club? Yes. Do they invest well? Yes. Have they got a good Manager? Yes. Have they got a good team? Yes. 

“We’ve got to come up with a permutation and a formula to beat Fleetwood tomorrow (Saturday).”

The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD. 

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