Manager Keith Hill looks ahead to Saturday’s derby day encounter v Bury at Spotland…
“We’ve done a lot of planning but the plan has got to be put into action. It’s brilliant to represent the fans, week in/ week out, but especially on derby day,” Hill told Dale PlayerHD.
“We want to see the mentality of the supporters on display through the players’ performances.
“We want to see that great tackle, we want to see that superb header, that lung busting tracking of a midfield player and the blocking of a goal bound opportunity on the line. Our goalkeeper has got to be at his best and their goalkeeper has got to be at his best. I want to see that.
“I remember watching Manchester United against Manchester City at Old Trafford and the biggest cheer of the day was when Wes Brown lifted an opponent and put him row Z, if you like, with one of the best tackles I’ve seen.
“I still remember it because it was so good and it got everybody at Old Trafford on their feet. And it’s that type of thing you have to display – the courage, the commitment, the desire, the determination on behalf of the supporters, and that’s what we’ll do.
“We hope that when we do that, that it can be reflected in a positive result.”
He continued: “It’s important the players acknowledge that matchday is the most important day of the week, and everything we do is in preparation for that.
“The players have to turn up on matchday, they have to enforce the game plan and they have to perform.
“It’s basic stuff. You’ve got to win your battles and you’ve got to perform to the best of your ability. As long as performances are up to the standard that I expect, both individually and collectively, then I know that we will get results.”
Dale head into Saturday’s derby match losing just one of their last six games.
Last weekend’s win over Coventry City sees Dale sitting 13 points clear of the relegation zone and just two points short of the 50 point milestone.
Hill admits that he’s pleased with the recent form.
“We look at trying to stabilise at 10 points, at 20 points, at 30 points and at 40 points. We’re looking at them targets and then progression.
“It’s important that we try to reach the 50 point mark and then try to reach the 60 point mark, as quickly as we possibly can.
“We’ve done exceptionally well over the last month with respect to getting the points that we needed. It could have been so easy to get dragged into the bottom six situation.
“We were very wary of that situation about six to eight games ago, probably after we got beaten at Crewe Alex, which really got me thinking, ‘right, what have I got to do and this is what we’re going to do’.
“I think there has been a tremendous response since that loss. Yes, we’ve lost other games since then, but if you look at the games that we’ve played, we’ve been consistently picking up points. And in the last six games we’ve picked up 11 points from 18, which is one point short of two per game, so I’m relatively pleased going into the game at the weekend.”
The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD.