Rochdale return to league action this Saturday, following successes in the Checkatrade Trophy and the Emirates FA Cup, in their last two outings.
Dale head to Bradford City’s Valley Parade having beaten Doncaster Rovers on penalties and triumphed over Slough Town, respectively. They were also victorious in their last league match, but the Gaffer says there’s still hard work to do, as his side get set to play five times in the league between now and the New Year.
“We can’t get confused and we can’t be mislead by the cup results and the cup performances. I got a little bit hoodwinked with playing Bromley then rolling into the Oldham game,” he told iFollow.
“The league format is totally different to the cup format, but we are trying to take every competition seriously.
“It’s time to start focusing in on the league and it starts with Bradford. It’s a lengthy campaign over the festive period, with respect to the games that we have to play, but that’s the league fixtures as they present themselves. We have to be competitive and try to pick up as many points as we possibly can.
“We’re fighting a different fight this season. Last season we were fighting a relegation battle in the top five/six, and that’s always been our mantra, no matter where we are in the league, we’re always fighting a relegation battle. But subsequently, this year, we’re in a relegation battle in the bottom five/ bottom six at times.”
And Hill is looking for consistency during the upcoming run of fixtures.
“We always plan and the devil is in the detail, but within those plans there are diversions and roadworks, player injuries, suspensions, illness, lack of form and just an accumulation of games, so everybody will probably get their chance to make an impact over the festive period of games, and it’s important that we make impacts.
“There’s inconsistency to performances and impacts from players, so we’re looking at that consistency. We need that consistency going into this period of the season and the players are well aware of that.”
Looking ahead to Saturday’s game at Valley Parade, he added: “It was a difficult fixture last season but we’ve had great memories at Bradford during my time at the football club, with some sensational performances.
“It has always been keenly contested and it could end up being a tight game.”
Watch the full interview on iFollow.