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Keith Hill's Pre-Match Interview - Doncaster Rovers

1 April 2016

Manager Keith Hill has been reflecting on recent results, as well as looking ahead to Saturday’s League 1 fixture v Doncaster Rovers at Spotland.

“We seem to be strong as unit at this moment in time,” said Hill.

“We’ve been very good on the whole and we’ve got 20 points from 10 games. That’s a good two points per game, which is brilliant.

“If we can repeat that over the next seven games then it’ll be a very, very, very successful season. And it has been already. We’ve learnt a lot and we’ll take what we’ve learnt this season into next season, but we could be taking a whole lot more.”

Dale lost just twice during that ten game run, and in addition to being delighted with the points return, Hill is also pleased with the performance levels. He wants his side to continue working hard between now and the end of the season.

“We have to take one game at a time and one opposition at a time.

“It’s important that we try to continue to play in the rich vein of form that we’re in. And that form has only been borne out of hard work and endeavour.

“Yes, the players have got talent. Yes, they’re sticking to task but it’s hard work. The hard work and intensity that they’ve been playing with in the games that we’ve played recently has been superb.

“The players have got to realise that’s the real success. The points, the goals, the passages of play are all a result of hard work, the endeavour, the commitment, the passion and the intensity that we play at.

“Sometimes you think you’re better than just hard work. We are better than just hard work as long as we work harder than opposition. That’s one thing we’ve always got to do at Rochdale and I think that’s why I was so disappointed on Monday, because we worked exceptionally hard with honest hard work and we got beat by a less than honest, excellent Wigan side.”

Rochdale host Doncaster Rovers this Saturday, a side who have gone 15 games without a win. Hill says there will be no complacency. 

“I’ve got a tremendous amount of respect for Darren [Ferguson, Doncaster Manager], but his plight at this moment in time is very, very difficult, with what is, a promotion pushing squad of players,” said Hill.

“Confidence is key. 12 games ago, I think they were a point above us. The turn-around in our form is absolutely superb but Doncaster shouldn’t be underestimated. They’re an excellent side with a good manager, but at this moment in time they’re in a bad run of games and in a wrong position in this league. Psychologically when games are running out, it can do a lot of harm to the unity of a squad.”

He added: “The players will show respect but we won’t give Doncaster any encouragement. 

“We’re confident and it’s a free-hit for us - all our remaining seven games are free hits. The only negative impact [that the run-in] can have is on my win percentage. Am I going to throw that away? No. 

“We’re going to be calculated, we’re going to try and do what we’ve been doing recently and we're going to take the game to the opposition.”

The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD.

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