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A Tremendous Result - Keith Hill

4 April 2018


A Tremendous Result - Keith Hill

4 April 2018

Rochdale moved within a point of safety on Tuesday night, after recording a comfortable 2-0 win over local rivals Bury at Gigg Lane.

The result means Dale have now lost just one of their last eight league matches, something which pleases Hill.

“The reaction after the Fleetwood game from a lot of parties was as if our season was over and I’m glad I didn’t react in the same way, because it’s not. It’s still genuinely alive.  

“Tonight was a good opportunity for us, considering the results over the weekend. We got six points over the Easter period, so it’s refreshing. It’s a tremendous result, and for us to get to 41 points puts us in a decent position.

“I pre-interrupted the BBC when we played Scunthorpe away when they suggested that the task we had was an enormous task and it would be very difficult to achieve. But that point against Scunthorpe turns out to be a very good point, and since then we’ve picked up six points to accompany that point. It has got to be methodical and it has got to be clear thinking, and that’s what I’m trying to do – I leave all the chaos and the carnivals to the pundits.

“But listen, we’re still in a hole and we’ve got to make sure we take the momentum into Saturday’s game against Portsmouth. It’ll be a difficult game against an opponent who are attempting to get into the play-offs.”

First half goals from Ryan Delaney and Ian Henderson saw Rochdale ease into a two goal lead against the Shakers and the side had other opportunities to put the game out of sight. All but for a five minute spell in the second half, Dale dominated throughout.

“I thought the opposition were very lucky to be only 2-0 down at half-time, and it gave them the opportunity to put the big guns on,” said Hill.

“I thought he would have been playing James Hanson and I must say that I was rather pleased that he didn’t start, but when he came on for the start of the second half, I knew that they’d go a little bit more direct, which they did, but we dealt with it, with the three central defenders we had on the pitch.

“We moved Joe Rafferty into a central midfield role and we just blocked everything, except for that five minutes when Josh Lillis made a good save and their penalty. That period of the game was a little bit scruffy, but we rode it and came out the other side, and we probably could have scored again at the end.”

Kgosi Ntlhe played an advanced role when he came on as a second half substitute. Hill was pleased with his contribution.

“We have to be multiple positional. It wasn’t a game to put Steven Davies or Alex Dobre on. In the second half, it was a game for consolidating – play the clock and play sensible football.

“It was the right decision to put Kgosi on, to stop any crosses coming in from the wide areas of the pitch, and I thought he did it well. He also counter-attacked well, and arguably Stephen Humphrys should score from his great cross.”

Watch the full interview on iFollow.

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