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We’ve Got A Lot To Be Thankful For & We’ve Got A Lot To Look Forward To - Keith Hill

28 February 2017

Rochdale are back in action at the Crown Oil Arena on Tuesday night, as Dale host Port Vale.

Manager Keith Hill has injury, illness and suspension to contend with for the match. 

“I’ve got to come up with a permutation and a solution to the injuries, the suspensions and the illness that we’ve got," said Hill. 

"We’ve got two players who are ill, two suspensions and players who are still injured, and we’ve also picked up injuries from Saturday because one or two of the players picked up fatigue injuries as a result of playing 90 minutes and being outnumbered.

“Niall Canavan’s injury will keep him out of the game, while Jack Redshaw has got a problem with shin splints. We’re still waiting on Joe Bunney, Steve Davies and Matty Lund, and we’ve had one or two illnesses – Joel Taylor and Callum Camps, but we’ll be ok. 

“If it means playing some of the younger players then I’ll play them. It could be a great opportunity for them with them coming in with no fear.”

Hill says he takes great encouragement from his side’s recent performances in to Tuesday night’s game.

“We’re not going through a good sequence of results but some of the performances have been really encouraging. If we cut out the mistakes then we can quickly become that team again who was winning seven on the bounce, the team who was unbeaten in eight, or who won five over the Christmas period and into January. 

“We’ve been in a lot worse situations than the one we are in now. We’ve got a lot to be thankful for and we’ve got a lot to look forward to. Sometimes you’ve got to look at where you are and where you’ve come from and the work that you’ve done, and be proud of that and take it into the future.

“The future is the next 14 games and it starts on Tuesday against Port Vale.”

The Valiants are currently occupying a slot in the bottom four of the League One table and Hill expects them to come to the Crown Oil Arena fighting for their lives.

He says all teams are fighting at this time of the season. 

“There’s a fight on. There’s got to be an expectation that every time you step out onto that pitch, you’re fighting. You’re fighting for a cause and the cause is on behalf of the supporters and what we want to achieve. The players have to be brave in that fight.

“It’s difficult when you drop into that bottom four because they can be dark days. We were in the bottom four during the first seven games of the season and we hit rock bottom. From our perspective, hitting rock bottom provided us an opportunity to bounce and we did that. 

“The psychology of it is, is that the games are running out. You need to get to that 50 points quickly, so they’ll be coming here trying to get some points. 

“Michael Brown is in charge and he’s trying to stamp his own identity on the team. It’s going to be a difficult game because I know that Michael is a fighter. I’ve come across him as a player and as a manager, and I’ve been an admirer of the way that he has played the game.”

The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD. 

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