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Keith Hill Praises Dale Spirit After Millwall Six-Goal Thriller

22 March 2017

Manager Keith Hill delivered an honest appraisal of Tuesday night’s six-goal thriller at the Crown Oil Arena…


“I thought we started the game well and their first two goals are mistakes," he told Dale PlayerHD.

“The first one is a mistake by the referee and the other one is a mistake by Jim McNulty.

“When we went 2-0 down, at one point I thought it could have gone, three, four or five before half time.

“I had to change the shape because we weren’t getting any continuity or a foothold in the game but as soon as we did, we got to the two goals and I thought they were great goals. 

“After half time we took control. They changed their shape and then they took control again. At 3-2, we didn’t quite hang on, but they are a difficult team to play against with the players that they’ve got. 

“From my perspective, we came up with a different plan at half time and it worked. We got the third goal and we should have had the fourth and fifth but once they stabilised and they changed their shape, I think they could have gone on and got the fourth and the fifth goal after scoring the third.”

And Hill has praised the spirit of his players who came from two goals down to secure a point from the match.

“The players have run themselves into the ground. I’ve got to thank them for putting everything into it because we could have gone under at 2-0 down. From somewhere, the players found the spirit. 

“They didn’t find their footballing brain and they didn’t think with the clarity that I expected, but they came up with something to get something from the game and that’s where I’m highly delighted.”

Millwall opened the scoring with a contentious penalty, while Dale were denied a spot-kick on three occasions. Hill believe the Lions’ penalty shouldn’t have been awarded. 

“There’s no penalty. We had to change our game plan - we put a lot of focus and belief into what we were going to do tonight against Millwall and it had to be ripped up. 

“I don’t think the officials had a good night tonight, and I think that’ll be reflected in the match reports from both managers. 

“They weren’t happy and we weren’t happy. It’s an important role that they play and yes, they will make mistakes, but the standard of refereeing has to be better than it was tonight.”

Watch the full 11 minute on Dale PlayerHD


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