Dale welcome the Latics to the Crown Oil Arena and Hill has asked fans for more of the same vocal support this weekend.
He told Dale PlayerHD: “The fans have created one hell of a journey and they’ve been with us throughout our times of success. They’ve been superb and they’ve supported us. I was out yesterday and I bumped into a Rochdale supporter wearing his Dale shirt in the Trafford Centre, so it’s brilliant that there’s a pride to the way that our supporters wear the shirt and believe in what we’re trying to do. The supporters have been magnificent – they obviously get worried, like I do as a manager, but they’ve been absolutely superb.”
On the pitch, Hill gave full credit to his players for their “professional and disciplined” performance in Dale’s derby match against Bury a fortnight ago and he wants that type of performance this weekend.
“You look for that type of performance every week, regardless of whether it’s against your near neighbours or not.
“You need a collective and an individual discipline, as well as a composure. You also need to be able to maintain a skill level at high speed, and that’s what we look for in every game.”
After a rare midweek without a fixture, Hill has welcomed the extra time on the training pitch.
“We’ve been working on player fitness and conditioning, to make sure we get the best energy out of the players on a matchday. It’s really, really important that we maintain our fitness levels. We’re definitely getting the energy on the football pitch, so this week has been about a little bit of ticking over and a lot of preparation for the weekend’s fixture.”
And Hill says he takes forward a lot of encouragement from last week’s performance against Coventry City, despite the result.
“We deserved to get beat by Swindon but we didn’t deserve to get beat by Coventry.
“The reason why we got beat by Coventry was down to concentration. That’s concentration on finishing opportunities and defending the opposition’s threat. That’s a minor detail but a big detail when you’ve lost the game.
“But I was really pleased with the way that we played and the way that we showed energy. There was positive possession, which created goal scoring opportunities. I was very, very pleased after the game but I was, of course, disappointed with the result. Performances like that give me a lot of encouragement that we’ll start winning again.”
The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD.