Rochdale kick-off their 2017/18 season away at Fratton Park on Saturday in front of a 20,000 strong crowd, after Portsmouth fans snapped up every ticket available to them, and Dale came close to selling its full allocation.
Hill admits that he’s is looking forward to the match and is excited about getting the season underway.
“It’ll be a good atmosphere,” said Hill.
“I’m looking forward to the game and I’m excited, because the season comes around so quickly. Before you know it, you’re at Christmas, then after that we’re at the end of the season, so you’ve got to make hay while the sun shines.
“I started getting really excited a couple of weeks ago when we really started preparing in earnest for Portsmouth. We’ve done a lot of work and we’re prepared for the season, because it’s not just a one game season.
“With respect to Portsmouth, I think they’ve got a very good manager at the helm. They are one of a few clubs who could potentially get promoted. They’re a big, big club – they’ve been in the Premier League and won the FA Cup in recent history – so they will not be underestimated, but we’re only really concerned about ourselves and the processes that we go through to be successful.”
The 2017/18 campaign marks Rochdale’s fourth consecutive season in League One following promotion to the division at the end of the 2013/14 campaign.
Dale have competed magnificently over the last three seasons, securing top ten finishes on each occasion, and while Hill accepts that the season will again be challenging, he also says that there’s a real spirit and fighter’s mentality within the squad to try and make further progression.
“We plan to be very successful [every season] but there’s a 46 game road works and diversions. We’ve got to make sure that we road map success on an individual game basis. I know it’s a cliché, but that’s what we’ll try and do. We’ve been successful in the past by doing that, and by doing it pragmatically. We’ve never got carried away with ourselves at any point, even when we got promoted twice.
“We’ve been successful in our previous three seasons in League One, but we have to progress and progression means a lot of things. Progression to supporters means, in a nut shell, more points. So our aim is to get more points. Realistically, it’s going to be challenging, but that’s what we intend on doing – we’re very ambitious, we’ve got the spirit and a fighter’s mentality. It’s going to be a 46-game fight.”
Watch the full interview on iFollow.