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Interviews

Keith Hill's Pre-Match Interview: Millwall

12 February 2016

Rochdale are back in action on Saturday, as they welcome Millwall to Spotland for the time in over 50 years.


Millwall have climbed the Sky Bet League One table after a difficult start to the season and now find themselves in the play-off places.

Individual mistakes cost Dale points when the two sides met at the Den in September, and while Manager Keith Hill admits that his side will have to be on their game from the first whistle, he also says the players will go into the match with no fear.

“It’s going to be difficult,” Hill told Dale PlayerHD.

“They’ve [Millwall] found their League One feet after coming down from the Championship. They’ve been managed superbly well, and after a difficult start, they’re getting rewards of that little bit of continuity and performances. They perform really well and you can see why they’re one of the challengers for a top six finish.

“But, on any given matchday, I think we can beat anybody and we’ll go into the match with a game plan.

“It has been proven this season that we can beat anybody in this league and we can take points off anybody, so I’ve got no fear.

“We’re well prepared, we’re well versed on what Millwall are about. They’re an excellent side, but we’ve got no fear going into this game because we’ll be prepared.

“It’s then up to the players to go out and perform with a bit of bravery.”

Dale have 18 games left to play this season and Hill is looking for a big collective effort between now and the end of the campaign.

“I’m looking forward to it [the remaining games].

“It’s a great job to have and it’s a great club to be working for. The players have been magnificent, although a little bit frustrating because of the inconsistencies, but they will be forgiven.

“When they go out on a matchday they’ll get my support, they’ll get the fans' support and they’ll get the support of each other.

“And that’s what’s good. On any given matchday things can change and things can be put right in everybody’s mental well-being. That’s what we’re looking for from everybody this Saturday against Millwall.”

Saturday’s game signals the start of a run of midweek fixtures for Dale, with seven games scheduled over the next three weeks.

Hill hopes this can have a positive impact as his side looks to bounce.

“I look forward to the Saturday/ Tuesday games.

“It can be a long working week but it has been a very good week this week – it has been very productive.

“And I look forward to the Saturday/ Tuesday/ Saturday/ Tuesday games because you can over analyse and you can over think.

“You’ve got to find solutions but the real place to find solutions is definitely in the matchday arena.

“In-match practice is the best because you’re getting the experience. But you want the results as well because results breed confidence and hopefully we can roll into games.

“We’ve been in this position so many times in my time at the football club and hopefully we’ll bounce. I remember the season that we got promoted – we had four points after five games. People forget about that 
because we celebrated so well at the end of the season after getting promoted.

“So it’s important that we manage these phases, that we don’t over analyse, but that we fight through them.”

The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD. 



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