Manager Keith Hill has honestly admitted that the FA Cup wasn’t a priority during his first spell at the club, but says that has changed since he returned for a second spell.
That will come as no surprise, with Dale having made it into the fourth round of the competition for three out of the last four years. And Hill says his ambition is to always take his side as far as possible.
“The FA Cup used to be unimportant to me, because when I was first at this football club, all I was concerned about was delivering promotion to the Rochdale public, which they hadn’t see for over 40 years,” said Hill.
“I didn’t really care too much about the FA Cup, other than being a supporter of it, because I have memories as being brought up as a young child sitting around the TV watching the FA Cup.
“For me, it’s still a fairy tale cup competition, but as a manager, the cold hard facts were, I’d basically said that I’d deliver promotion and I was solely focused on that. I didn’t turn a blind eye to the competition, but it was something I saw that could get in the way.
“Since I’ve come back, I do believe I’m a manager of principle and a manager who tries to even the books financially. One source of income is through the FA Cup, and that’s what we’ve done over the last four or five years since I’ve been back.
“From a fairy tale point of view and from the inner child in me who loves the FA Cup, I want to go as far down the competition as I possibly can. I respect our opportunity to go as far down the line as I possibly can and earn money, because there’s good prize money and potential TV money up for grabs, and that’s what we want.
“I, as a manager, want to play games against opposition from higher leagues, lower leagues and from the same league. Everything is a test and we want to come out victorious. All of our aims and our efforts, whether we’re losing games, winning them or drawing them, are to be successful so we have to win football matches.”
Watch the full interview on iFollow.