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Keith Hill: A Special Feeling

18 September 2016

Manager Keith Hill reflects on his side’s 2-1 victory over Fleetwood Town, Dale’s first win of the 2016-17 campaign…

“You could say that the feeling [in the dressing room] is pretty special,” Hill told Dale PlayerHD.

“We’ve had one or two special moments in our careers at Rochdale and it’s good that the players can see their hard-work paying off by getting three points. But listen, we’re not there yet. We’ll never be finished – we’re always having to turn the page and that’s what we’ll continue doing this week.”

Matty Lund headed Dale into a tenth minute lead, before Bobby Grant equalised from the penalty spot midway through a first half which Dale dominated. Much of the second half was evenly matched, but as Dale began to take charge during the closing exchanges, Steven Davies powered a header beyond Chris Neal from a Joe Bunney cross to seal three deserved points.  

“We set off superbly well and we were comfortable,” said Hill as he reflected on the game. 

“There was a lot of confidence on the pitch to the way that we were going to play. We’ve been working on it all week and I was relatively confident going into the game, but we self-imploded when we were asked the first question. It could have been a shaky 60 minutes but it wasn’t – I was reasonably comfortable. 

“Fleetwood are a good side with good players but I think we managed their attack well and I think we showed a good attacking intent, which allows you to win games if you’re good. I’m reasonably happy with the performance today so I’m encouraged.”

Peter Vincenti and Joe Bunney were selected to play as full-backs in the game. The pair were outstanding in their respective roles and Hill says he knew it could work if was he brave enough to play them in those positions against the Cod Army. 

“I’ve been working on that team [Saturday’s line-up] since the game at Bristol Rovers, given what I witnessed at Bristol Rovers and in games so far. 

“It was the old conundrum with respect to ‘how brave am I going to be to select the right side for the opposition?’ Because if we had lost that game today it would have been ‘Keith Hill has lost the plot’. 

“I don’t want to go into too much tactical detail with respect to the opposition and why I played Joe Bunney and Peter Vincenti at full-backs, but I knew that it could work, it was just a case of how brave I was going to be or how stupid I could have looked if it hadn’t have gone well.”

The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD. 

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