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Keith Hill's Pre-Match Thoughts - AFC Wimbledon

26 August 2016

Manager Keith Hill is taking positives from Dale’s opening games into Saturday’s League 1 fixture v AFC Wimbledon at the Crown Oil Arena…

“The players have given everything they possibly could in every game and they’ve given themselves an opportunity in every game to win it. Unfortunately we haven’t done that but that’s not down to a lack of effort, commitment or endeavour," Hill told Dale PlayerHD. 

“We just got to make sure that we’re better in some of the individual decision making. There’s not an awful lot wrong with the team structure, the way that the players are playing, or the way that the players are applying themselves, but being a little bit better on the decision making will improve our opportunity to get three points.

“I feel as though we’ve got a strong enough squad and it’s just a question of the players and the management team staying strong and turning good performances into results.”

Dale head into Saturday’s game on the back of Tuesday night’s EFL Cup tie against QPR at Loftus Road and Hill says he takes a lot of confidence from the performance by his “determined” players. 

“Determination is key to our success, both individually and collectively. QPR are an excellent side in the Championship - they try to play like ourselves but they were probably just better than us by the end of the game, and it was a just. 

“When you consider the difference in budgets between ourselves and QPR, we’re talking a small difference of around 23.5-million pounds, but we were very close on the football pitch. That gives me a lot of confidence in the players that we’ve got.”

League 1 newcomers AFC Wimbledon are the visitors to the Crown Oil Arena this Saturday. Hill, who believes the division is much stronger than last term, is expecting a tough test.

“When I look at some of the recruitment that is going on in League 1, I think wow - how can they afford to sign that player?! 

“The fact of the matter is, like AFC Wimbledon will have noticed, when you go up a division, the demands on the players go up as well. 

“League 1 has gone astronomical in comparison to last season and that’s because of the new loan system.

“AFC Wimbledon are a strong opposition in a very strong league and they have good players. They were worthy of promotion last season and they’re probably going to establish themselves as a League 1 club.”

The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD

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