Manager Keith Hill was in an upbeat mood when he spoke to iFollow on Friday morning…
Chatting to the club’s official website before setting off for Roots Hall, he reflected on the week and looked ahead to Dale’s League One fixture v Southend United: “I went home after last Saturday’s game and I slept for probably 36-hours in two days. I was very, very mentally and physically fatigued.
“I just want to be able to deal with football and the team on the training pitch, pick a side and play the game, but we’ve had a lot of injuries and illness.
“It has been difficult but I feel refreshed and I feel ready to go. I had a great game of head tennis yesterday which fills me with enthusiasm. I enjoy the football exercise even although I am 48!” laughed Hill.
With the transfer window now closed, Hill wants Dale’s season to really kick into action.
“Let’s start playing some football and let’s forget about the politics! Let’s make sure we start racking up the points and let’s start our season.
“Everybody is in now and everybody has now got to concentrate on playing football, and that’s where we’ve got to crack on now. That’s up to me and the players to really focus in on that.”
Southend has proved a difficult place to go for Dale in recent years, and with the Shrimpers unbeaten in the league at home so far this season, Hill is expecting a tough game.
“We plan everything to be successful, that’s all we do and every manager is the same.
“The only thing that gets in the way of the three points is the opposition, and Southend are a very good side. It’ll be a stern test for us as it always is.
“Southend away has been unkind to us in the past but we’re going there full of confidence and we’re going there with a squad that’s capable of representing us on a matchday, so let’s just go there and try to win a football match.
“It’s not complicated - keep the ball out and put the ball in,” laughed Hill.
Injury and illness, however, continues to be a problem for Hill going into the match.
“Having eight players missing from our squad put us at stretching point but we’ve got a 42 game season left and that’s what we should be looking at.
“We should be looking at the games we’ve got to play. We’re not running out of games, we’re running into games and that’s where you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Watch the full interview on iFollow.