Manager Keith Hill reflects on Tuesday night’s late defeat to Scunthorpe United and looks ahead to Saturday’s League One fixture v Gillingham, in his latest interview…
The players were left feeling dejected after giving their all in the midweek match against the Iron only to be denied at least a point in stoppage time.
Hill says the unity of the squad plays an important role after such a sucker punch.
“We’ll bring everybody together and make sure we pick everybody up,” he told Dale PlayerHD.
“We’re a family of friends and a family of football players, and ultimately, we’re very competitive and we want to win games. Winning football matches is the bottom line and development is key to the processes that we go through.
“The way the defeat was delivered was a real sucker punch. We had been sparring all night in a football match, and we were, in my opinion and in the opinion of a lot of other people, in front on points.
“I don’t think we let our guard down. It was a well taken goal, although it could have been prevented, but there was almost a feeling that we’d had our back pocket robbed.
“It was difficult straight after the game to see the players accepting that they’d done a marvellous job but didn’t get the end result. That’s what’s really disappointing – we’re not getting the results for our endeavours and the way that we’re playing. We deserve more, there nothing question about that, but one thing I’ll never be and I’ll never expect my players to be is a victim of a result.
“We’re going through it, and if I’m being honest with you, I’d rather be going through it on 50 points than going through it with 34 points, because psychologically it probably would do and could do a lot of
“Nothing has been decided yet - we’ve still got 11 games to play. I’m getting players back fit on the training pitch and I’m looking forward to the 11 games.”
He continued: “If I’m being honest with you, I think at any other football club my position would be a bit under pressure. But having spoken to the Chairman, he’s happy with the processes that we’re going through and the way the football club is being run.
“I’m not just planning for this season. I’m planning for the next two, three, four and five season because me and my staff want to try and improve every aspect of this football club.
“Sometimes you have to look back at what you’ve done and how things have progressed. When I look back at when I took over from Steven Parkin and then John Coleman, the strides we’ve made has been miraculous and I think everybody who has a sense of reality understands the processes that this club has gone though, the work that we’ve done and the health that we’re in. It bodes well for the future but I’m not stupid. The underlying bottom line has to be about results. We’ve had good results this season and now we’re going through an indifferent patch, but me and the players will all come through it."
Whilst Hill will welcome Matty Lund and Donal McDermott back from suspension for Saturday's game against Gillingham at the Crown Oil Arena, he still has a lengthy injury list to contend with.
“Joe Rafferty and Jamie Allen are nursing impact injuries after Tuesday, so they will be there or thereabouts for Saturday," said Hill.
"I’ve still got Keith Keane (calf), Steve Davies (calf), Joe Bunney (fifth metatarsal), Josh Lillis (knee), Reuben Noble-Lazarus (ankle), Joe Thompson (illness) and Jack Redshaw (shin splints) who'll all still be missing for the weekend.
“We’ve got Lundy back for the one game before he goes on international duty and Donal McDermott is also back from suspension.”
Watch the full interview on Dale PlayerHD.