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Interviews

There's A Great Spirit Amongst The Players - Hill

19 August 2018

Keith Hill has praised the great spirit amongst his group of players after a 95th minute equaliser secured a 2-2 draw at Fleetwood Town.

Dale were behind the twice in the game and looked to be heading for defeat, until Ian Henderson’s dramatic leveller in the final minute of added time.

“I thought in the first-half we huffed and puffed,” said Hill.

“We played some nice, possession-based football, but ultimately it’s about scoring goals. They get one opportunity [in the first-half], and it’s a bit naïve what we’re doing defensively.

“One turnover of possession in the right-back area of the pitch shouldn’t lead to a goal, so I’m really disappointed with the goal.

“I’m not disappointed with the way we tried to play and some of the chances we created. Ollie Rathbone had a great strike, Kgosi [Ntlhe] had a couple of opportunities, we had Hendo and Bradden Inman racing through the centre of the pitch.

“They were very cynical with respect to stopping us getting through the lines, but that’s part of the game and we’ve got to accept that, I’ve got no problems with it.

“Second-half I thought we were meandering. We got the equaliser which I’m really pleased about and we tried to push on, but we conceded again.

“The second goal - we can’t keep conceding that second goal. The spirit of the players is superb, but the naivety of the whole team in those key moments is down to concentration and decision making, and they’ve got to get better at that.

“A lot of what we’re working on and what we’re doing is more than acceptable, but for us to be a successful side that means winning games. We have to make better individual decisions and that’s what I’m looking for from this group.”

Henderson had cancelled out Paddy Madden’s opener from the penalty spot shortly after half-time, but the hosts restored their lead through Ched Evans just six minutes later, a goal Hill was disappointed with.

“It’s where the goal comes from. It’s a free-kick in their half of the pitch which they take quickly and I’m always asking our players to be in front of the opponent, but unfortunately we switched off and we let them out.

“It’s a silly goal to concede, it doesn’t give us any growing time and it puts us on the back foot again and puts us in a position where we’re playing DIY football.

However, the Gaffer was delighted his side kept pushing until the end.

“I’ve got two big lads on, I'm trying Doney up front and we have a great opportunity just before the goal where there was a clearance off the line, and we just didn’t think it was going to come, but it did.

“It just shows there’s a great spirit amongst the players, but we need to be better than just spirit, because I don’t believe this squad of players should be in the position that we were in last season.

“It’s about scoring goals and making sure the opponents don’t get the easy goals that we’re actually giving away.”

And the Gaffer reserved special praise for his Captain.

“I always can depend on Ian Henderson in times of need, and we needed him today. If we’d lost that game it still wouldn’t be broke and need 100% fixing. It just needs a bit of glue, somebody to bring what we’re trying to do and everything we did in pre-season together.”

You can watch the full interview on iFollow HERE.


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