Manager Keith Hill looks ahead to Saturday’s League 1 fixture v Coventry City while reflecting on Tuesday night’s defeat to Shewsbury Town…
“It’s important at the start of a game to be competitive, that you fight for that break, that you fight for that lapse in concentration from the opposition and that you don’t act so arrogantly.
“It’s important that we get our reliable honesty back, week in/ week out from a team of individual performers. One or two can show lapses of concentration or inconsistency, but not a whole team and that’s what we got on Tuesday night. But the players will be forgiven and we’ll move on to Saturday’s game.
“[Before Tuesday night] we got the positive results, getting eight points from four games, which was a magnificent return.
“We hit a brick wall against Shrewsbury but we can respond with 12 games to go. It’s up to the players to actually perform consistently to the standards that they are actually capable of. We should be in a better position to beat the likes of Shrewsbury. No disrespect to Shrewsbury and no disrespect to Micky Mellon, but we lost that game because our players weren’t up for it, not because of the way that Shrewsbury started.
“We’re looking for a quick response and we’re looking to engage in positivity in the remaining 12 games, and that includes Coventry away on Saturday.
“I’ve learnt to live with inconsistencies this season. It has been tough but ultimately the football club, myself, the players should come out of it stronger.”
The sides have already met twice this season, with the teams playing out two entertaining draws.
The Sky Blues were the visitors to Spotland in August after being drawn against Dale in the first round of the Capital One Cup. After the game finished 1-1, Rochdale went on to the progress in the competition with a penalty shoot-out win.
In October, Coventry City returned to Rochdale for the Sky Bet League 1 fixture which finished goalless. Both goalkeepers dominated the match, pulling off a string of excellent saves.
Hill expects another good game of football this Saturday.
“I certainly am, there’s no question about that. We have a certain way of playing and we don’t aim to change that. I think Tony [Mowbray, Coventry Cit manager] knows that about me. They will play a similar way to the way they’ve played for most of the season.
"We’re looking forward to the challenges and it’s going to be a difficult game, but it’s one that we’re looking forward to because it’s a test.
“On their day, they’re the best team in the league, with regards to what you want as a spectator, with what you want as a manager and what you would want as a player playing in a team.
“They’ve been inconsistent over the last six or seven games but one small trigger can change the course of your season or the course of the game, and we’re mindful of that.”
The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD.