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I've Been Really Impressed With The Application Of The Players - Keith Hill

25 November 2016

Manager Keith Hill has told Dale PlayerHD that he’s pleased his side are picking up points on a regular basis and has praised his players’ performances.


Dale head into Saturday’s game against Gillingham on the back of three victories in eight days, following the wins over Maidstone United, Swindon Town and Walsall, and Hill was particularly impressed with Tuesday night’s display against the Saddlers.  

“We’re picking up valuable points,” said Hill.

“I think we’ve performed well and consistently throughout the course of the season and now that is being provided with points, there’s no question about that.

“When we’re analysing games, we always refer back to the MK Dons game on August 20th, because that was probably one of our best performances but we lost 1-0. 

“I know that our performance in Tuesday night’s game surpassed everything we did against MK Dons. The difference between the two games is that we won one of them comfortably by putting our chances away and we lost the other one 1-0 by conceding in the 94th minute. 

“But the way that we played against MK Dons was comparable to Swindon last weekend, Walsall and many other games that we’ve won. The difference is we’ve put our chances away in those games, but our performance levels have been there all season.

“From a manager’s perspective, I’m really, really, really pleased that we’re picking up points and that’s what’s really important for any club, any manager and any player up and down the land.”

Dale scored ten goals and kept three clean sheets in those games and Hill says that’s down to the hard work of the players. 

“We’re more than capable of scoring goals and we’ve created opportunities throughout the course of the season. 

“We’ve scored eight goals in the last two games and that’s a reflection of how hard the players are working and focusing their concentration on making sure we put those opportunities away. 

“We didn’t put away our opportunities against Bradford (a couple of weeks ago) during the first 25 minutes when we were probably the better side. It was a very tight game for 40 minutes but once they scored their opportunity they looked a better side than us. We've seen so often that the first goal can be the deciding goal in a lot of games.”

Rochdale have been without up to ten first team regulars in the matchday squad in recent weeks because of injury, illness and suspension, and Hill says the squad has pulled squad together to ensure they're still picking up points on a regular basis. 

“It’s important that you find another way. Everyone was saying that we were going to struggle without Calvin Andrew and that the run we were on would be finished without him, but as a manager and as players you have to find a different way.

“It’s like if you get caught in a traffic jam, you have to find a different way of getting there, and that’s all I’m trying to do.

“The players have stood up to whatever tactical formation we’ve used and I think they’ve been brilliant. I don’t dwell too much on the fact that we’ve lost a player through injury, I have to find a solution. There are no problems, just solutions. We have to be flexible, we have to find an alternative way of winning and getting points, and that’s what we’ve done throughout my time at the football club. 

“It’s brilliant when the group is strong. We’re doing well and the players are doing well, and I’ve been really impressed with the application of the players. Sometimes when you lose key players there can be a release of a negative breath, but with us, there has been a positive breath throughout the football club and in training.

“I’m really, really pleased going into every fixture whether it’s the FA Cup, the Checkatrade Trophy or whether it’s a league fixture because I know that I’ve got players who represent the way we do things.”

The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD. 


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