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A Positive Point Away From Home - Keith Hill

30 September 2017

Manager Keith Hill has praised his side’s defensive display after Dale kept their fourth consecutive clean sheet in a goalless draw away at AFC Wimbledon.

Speaking to iFollow after the match at the Cherry Red Records Stadium, Hill commented: “Defensively we were brilliant. We defended crosses into the box and direct balls superbly.

“But we have to show more composure on regains. We’re a passing side and I don’t think we’ve utilised our skills going forward today.

“There has been a lot of concentration on keeping clean sheets and being assertive against the opponents, but when we’ve got the ball we’ve got to be more creative.

“You can see the desire in the players to try and keep clean sheets and they’ve done it again today, so it’s a positive point away from home again.

“I just feel that if we’re better at retaining the ball so we can get into the final third through passing instead of direct balls down the pitch, then I think we win that type of game, and that’s the next step for us.

“For me, it’s not a disappointment getting a point away from home and keeping another clean sheet, which is our fourth on the trot, and it’s about making sure we progress from this solid base.

“The progression has got to be our creativity. We’ve got creative players and we’ve got players who score goals, so we’ve got to find that balance. If we do, then we’re going to be some test to play against.”

And as the games continue to come thick and fast for Dale, Hill says it’s important that players who have been out ill and injured get back to full fitness.

“I was making a substitution because Joe Bunney was running the risk on a yellow card and I was trying to get Joe off, but Calvin, who is always no surrender, couldn’t continue, which is why he came off instead. It’s important that players like Calvin find their fitness quickly. There are one or two players who may be found this game to be one too many. Callum Camps, for example, looked very tired and I think that’s the result of playing the last three games after having been out for such a long period of time.

“We’ve got a very important game on Tuesday, which I want to win, and I want to play a strong side. We’ve got to make sure that we use the game as a competitive game but also a fitness game to make sure that we’re improving our fitness.”

Watch the full interview on iFollow. 

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