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It Was A Hard Fought Win - Hill

25 November 2018

Keith Hill was pleased with the result and the defensive side of Dale’s performance in their victory over Accrington Stanley.

Ian Henderson’s 101st goal for the club shortly after the hour mark secured a 1-0 win in what the Dale boss described as an even contest.

“It was close, it could have gone either way,” said Hill.

“They’re a good side, I love the way they play and the players that they’ve got. They’re building on their success of last season.

“It was hard fought. I thought we had one or two skirmishes, but it was an even game.

“We’ve come out on top, but it doesn’t mean that we were the better side. I think we were even all the way through.

“We scored a good goal and we defended quite well, which obviously helps.

“I didn’t think we were much of a threat in the first-half considering the players that we had out on the pitch.

“There was a lot of negative possession, but I’m reasonably happy.

“A game isn’t won in the first five minutes. Not every game can be exciting. Last week’s result [against Shrewsbury Town] was a consequence of our own self-harming, if you like.

“Today I thought there was good defensive discipline and structure to the team. I’m pleased with the result. It’s unfortunate that in the football world, all you’re judged on is the three points, but we got those three points today.

“I was just really pleased with the discipline of the side, the way that we tried to get up the pitch.

“What we didn’t have was runners from our wide strikers and offensive midfield players in the first-half, but we did in the second-half and that was the difference.”

Dan Adshead made his first start in the EFL, with Hill full of praise for the youngster, who recently scored on his debut for England Under-18s.

“He’s an unbelievable player. An absolute joy to work with. I thought he was brilliant today.

“His awareness, the movement in his head in relation to where the opponents are and where his teammates are.

“It’s not very often he misplaces a pass or gets caught in possession. He’s fully justified going away with England and he’s fully justified playing today.”

Hill restored Josh Lillis to starting line-up, who made a number of stops in the first-half on his way to keeping a clean sheet.

“That’s what goalkeepers do. I keep saying it – make saves, win us games. You can’t always stop the opponent creating opportunities and we didn’t today.

“He’s fresh. Time is brilliant with respect to regaining and forgetting, regaining your composure, regaining your confidence, but also forgetting what has previously happened.

“We give people time and if you only use your eyes to see you’ll be easily fooled. I’ve got to have a feel as well as being able to see what’s happening on the training pitch.

“Everyone thinks my job is easy – my job is more about mentally seeing things, physically feeling and seeing things, and I just thought it was the right call having seen this week’s work.”

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