Rochdale’s pre-season games schedules resumes on Tuesday night, as Keith Hill’s side make the trip to Edgeley Park to face Stockport County in a friendly.
It’s Dale’s first match since returning from the week-long training camp in Tenerife, and the Gaffer explains what he’s looking to see from his players, not just against the Hatters, but in the two-and-half week run up to the start of the new League One campaign.
“I’m looking for a progression of what we’re doing on the training pitch,” said Hill.
“The players are picking up great information and they’re actually putting it into practice, so they’re quick learners and I’m looking for them to take that into the games.
“We’re looking at a 45-minute appearance on Tuesday, so most of the squad will play against Stockport. We then have a closed doors game on Wednesday where they will pick up another 45-minutes, and then we’ll progress into a 90-minute game on Saturday.
“A lot of what we’re doing with the product is what we want and how we want the team to perform in and out of possession. It’s not science – it’s a game of football. Someone once said, ‘if it doesn’t look like football, then it isn’t football’. There’s a lot of coaching techniques where you look and think, ‘is that really football’. We’re just basically stripping it back to being football and the demands of the game, to set-up the way we want to play. That’s all the players are focusing on.”
He continued: “The players have been magnificent and we want that to be reflected in the games. But if it’s not reflected 100-percent in the games, then so what, as long as it starts being reflected better, better and better. Results in pre-season mean nothing, absolutely nothing. Performances, to a certain degree mean nothing, it just gives you a better feeling of the processes that you’re going through. Everything can be wrong right up until the last week of pre-season and it can all just fit in nicely, leading into that first game of the season.
“You want to go through a steady process with the players, and that’s what we’re doing. The players have been absolutely superb in their response to being fatigued but performing under stress at a high level of ability.”
Watch the full interview for FREE on iFollow.