Manager Keith Hill reflects on the season so far and looks ahead to Tuesday night’s League 1 fixture v Bolton Wanderers…
Hill is full of praise for the players’ never say die attitude but believes there’s still work to be done.
“At the minute we’re scrambling for so many points,” said Hill.
“We’ve arguably played better and got no points earlier in the season, and I know it's still early in the season, but it’s becoming harder and harder to manage the mistakes that we’re making on a regular basis. But one thing I have to give credit to the players for is that they never give up.
“It’s superb that they’ve got that working ethic and the desire to go and salvage a game. There have been games this season where you think we’d be out for the count but we haven’t and we weren’t on Saturday at Millwall.
“In the second half we won the game by two goals and it could have been more when you consider the goalkeeper made that remarkable save from Steve Davies. We may have had another penalty because there was definitely an infringement against Matty Lund and then Steve Davies had a clear goal scoring opportunity when Joe Bunney put a marvellous cross in.
“I’ve got to give credit to the players for not giving up. They refused to accept we’d lost the game at half-time and they’ve gone out second half and won it.
“The players are still working exceptionally hard. Sometimes it can be so demoralising when there’s that type of hard work going in to preparing for the opposition and we’re playing the way that we want to play but then we’re making individual mistakes.
“That can make you a little bit depleted and a little bit deflated, but I’ve been really, really pleased with the response from the players to the mistakes that other players are making. Sometimes players can switch off to the way I’ve been managing at half-time and during the week in training. There has been a harsh reality and one or two home truths but they haven’t switched off and that’s absolutely superb to see.”
Bolton Wanderers, who are expected to secure promotion back to the Championship at the first time of asking, are the visitors to the Crown Oil Arena on Tuesday evening.
Hill had this to say about the opposition.
“With Phil [Parkinson] and Steve [Parkin], I think they’ve got a great management team. They’ll have a very honest, balanced and level-headed approach to success in League 1, and I’m sure they’ll be successful.
“They’ve had a good start to the season, after recruiting and retaining well, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they’re back in the Premier League within the next five years.”
Dale are unbeaten in four going into the game and Hill says he’ll be taking the no fear approach.
“I don’t see why we shouldn’t. The worst that can happen is that we lose a game trying to win it but we shouldn’t fear losing.
“We’ve got to strive for success and we’ve got to go out there and take on the opponent. We’ve got to take it to them and put them on the back foot. We’ve also got to concentrate well. They’re all components that every manager will talk about and we’re no different to any other team.”
The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD.