Manager Keith Hill reflects on Dale’s Emirates FA Cup 4-0 second round win over Slough Town at Arbour Park…
“It was a big test of character and a test of our League One pedigree,” he told iFollow.
“You’ve got to pay a lot of respect to the opponents, which we did in our preparation.
“It’s a good competition for the football club to earn extra revenue. We didn’t want it to be a banana skin, so it was a very professional performance, but that’s just the icing on the cake after a very professional week – we prepared really well for the opponents.”
The Southern Premier League side gave a very good account of themselves in front of the BT Sport cameras, and Hill was impressed with the way they played.
“I like the way Slough play and their style. They’re non-league but they’re not a typical non-league side. There are no real old journeymen, they’re not very direct and they’re very effective at times in the way that they do things. I thought their goalkeeper’s distribution was amazing, and fair credit to them. I think they’ve got very good players, who play with a certain a style, but I just think we were better than them, and that’s no discredit to the opposition. It was a test for us but it’s a test that we’ve come through again.”
Slough had a handful of excellent opportunities to get on the score-sheet and Hill believes Dale's second goal came at the right time.
“Regardless of who the opponents are, the opposition will get opportunities, whether it’s from mistakes or their creativity, and we knew that we’d have to deal with them creating opportunities, which we did.
“We created more opportunities than they did, and the score-line could have been 3-1 at half-time to us, but it wasn’t. The second goal was the conviction that we needed to make sure that last 20 minutes or so weren’t a potential danger. We dealt with their potential danger – there were one or two near misses but there weren’t too many opportunities that worried or affected Josh, and I thought we dealt with the situation very well.
“I’m pleased that we’re through to the next round, because there seems to be that little bit of extra pressure on me to get through the early stages of the cup due to the revenue. We want that revenue to support our opportunities to be successful in League One.”
Calvin Andrew picked up BT Sports’ Man of the Match after an impressive display against the Rebels. He scored once and assisted two, and provided a great defensive outlet for Dale, in addition to his attacking prowess.
“Calvin has been excellent playing down the centre of the pitch. We just felt that by playing Doney down the centre of the pitch, the ball was coming back too much. Doney is a runner and he’s a player who gets on the end of things. Calvin is playing that target man number nine very well at this moment in time.”
Dale will travel to Doncaster Rovers in the third round of the competition and Hill says he and his players will look forward to the match in time, but that the league is the priority between now and that game, which will be played in January.
“I know Darren [Ferguson, Doncaster Rovers boss] really well, and I’ve got a lot of respect for him and the way he wants to play the game. It’s potential for both sides to go through to the next round, so we’ll really look forward to it, but we need to take care of our league form between now and then.”
Watch the full interview on iFollow.