Manager Keith Hill reflects on his side’s Boxing Day 2-1 win over Blackpool at the Crown Oil Arena, a game in which Ian Henderson’s late goal ensured Dale recorded back-to-back league wins for the first time this season.
“Perseverance is one of the values of life’s success. You’ve got to keep continuing the journey – even in a football journey and the 46 game journey there are bumps in the road,” said Hill in his post-match interview.
“I’m pleased with today’s result. It gives us that fillip of back-to-back wins and breaking 30 points. We were well into March last season when we broke the 30 points mark and it was February when we got 25 points, so from that perspective it gives the players confidence.
“The players were patient today and, to be fair to Blackpool, their goalkeeper was superb – I thought he was brilliant. I thought the game was an even contest and it was always going to be difficult, but their sending-off affects their tactics and that gives us more possession than Blackpool would probably have allowed us. We’ve been done before because of a lack of concentration when we’ve been given the ball but I thought we dealt with Blackpool’s tactics in the second half superbly well.
“I respect Blackpool and I think they’ve got a talented squad of players. I think the game would have gone all the way to the wire regardless of the sending off, but their tactics certainly changed after it.
“As a result of having so much possession and so many opportunities, it only takes a second for the opposition to score a goal. They’re a good side even with 10 men and they had counter-attacking threat in them in Armand Gnanduillet and Nathan Delfouneso who were up front, so we had to respect them.
“My only message at half-time was to keep a second half clean sheet. We created the chances but came up against a good goalkeeper. Even if one of those chances hadn’t gone in, we had to respect the point, but as a result of keep on knocking on the door we got all three and I thought it was a well-worked goal.
“It gives us confidence. The lads are happy that we’ve won back-to-back league games. The late win against Southend gave the lads belief. The players work hard and they deserve to be respected. We’re respected up and down the EFL because of what we do with players. It’s no secret that we’re financially sound and that we do good business. Sometimes that takes away from the product on the pitch but we’re trying our best to keep retaining our League One status and I’m working with a good group of players. That little bit of belief today will hopefully stand us well for this Saturday against Bradford.”
Watch the full interview on iFollow.