After last weekend’s game against Wigan Athletic was postponed due to international duty, Rochdale return to action this Saturday with a trip to Oldham Athletic.
Speaking ahead of the fixture, Manager Keith Hill said that the players had a few days rest and recuperation last week, but returned to training on Sunday, as preparations started for the derby day encounter at Sportsdirect.com Park.
“We had a good rest and a good recovery,” commented Hill.
“We played the game against Blackburn Rovers on the Tuesday night, and then the players had four days of rest and recovery from what has been a hard first part of the season. We came in on Sunday to get the lethargic mentality out of the way and we’ve had a superb week.”
Whilst Hill is aware of how much a local derby means to fans, he’s keen to keep the sideshows out of his preparations for the match.
“The local derby belongs to the supporters.
“I don’t get over-emotional in my preparation, whether it’s Bury, Oldham or the local rivalry that we had with Bolton last season. I try and prepare and let the sideshows take care of themselves. The main event is the game and that’s where the players, again, have got to be emotionally in control, and service the supporters with a good performance.
“It’s a 46-game season, not a one game season, and you have to be calm and composed so you can think clearly when you have to make decisions. We have to show the same sort of focus on Saturday come match time."
Asked whether Dale would be favorites or underdogs going into the fixture, Hill commented: “If I’m being honest with you, I prepare to be underdogs in every game we play, and I want an underdog mentality. The way we prepare is that we expect nothing and make sure we’re prepared to fight for everything. That’s the way I always prepare my team.”
Watch the full interview on iFollow.