Keith Hill says Rochdale will go into Saturday’s match at Bradford City with optimism and an appetite to win the game.
Speaking ahead of the game, the Dale boss says he is excited about the position the club is in going forward and that he feels something special could be just around the corner.
“We’ve got a plan to try and achieve success,” said Hill.
“On the journey to success, sometimes there’s roadworks and diversions. It’s not plain sailing. There’s a development process that you have to go through, but as long as you have your journey to success and you know what success is, then you’ve got to follow your plan.
“There’s obviously going to be detours and changes to the plan, but as long as the main agenda is mapped out then we’ll be fine, there’s no question about that.
“I do feel as though we’re in a position where, this is the next phase of another massive success at this football club. It could be one result away, it could be ten results away, from a real turning of the corner.
“I really like the way the development on the inside of the club is working. I am excited when I look at what we have at this football club. I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved and what we’ve created. We could be on the cusp of something special.”
The Dale boss is “pretty pleased” with the season so far, but admits he is still searching for the winning formula.
“We do plan on being successful and with the performance on Saturday [against Doncaster Rovers], we didn’t deserve to lose the game. But we know why we’re losing games – we’re conceding far too many goals.
“We kept a very fluent, goalscoring, goals-creating Doncaster down to a minimum of chances, but unfortunately at this moment in time, the minimum of chances that we’re allowing the opponents, they’re converting too high a ratio of them. Sunderland, for example, had five shots on target and scored four goals, and that can’t be right.
“It’s up to the players. The plan is being delivered to the players, they accept the responsibility for it, but they have to perform their duties better. It’s not about what they did last season or the season before, it’s about what they’re doing now.
“As a manager you want to win, win, win, win, win. You want to make sure that you’re backing up your principles with results.
“The judgement is in the results and the results in the league haven’t been quite good enough. But, when you assess, evaluate and look at what’s happening – I’m pretty pleased.
“As a manager, you’re trying to find a winning formula, so changes will be made until you find that winning formula. A consistent team selection is only relevant when you’re winning football matches.
“I’m certainly not in a panic situation. I’m pretty determined to work with this group of players to get it right. We’ve got to make sure that we work harder to solve the problems on the pitch and we can’t always have possession. If we haven’t got possession we have to be better than we’ve been.
“We showed the character last season, and that assures me that there’s a character in the squad.”
Hill says his side will head to the Northern Commercials Stadium with optimism and no fear.
“If you look at their squad, the players that they’ve got, the recruitment, etc. they’ve invested a lot of money.
“They’re a massive football club and always have been. They’ve got great pedigree and a good young manager who’s probably finding his way.
“We’ll go there with optimism, with an appetite to win and we’ve got to go there with a game brain to put it all into action. I’ve got no fear of playing anybody.
“We go there with a well-established, firm plan, we’ve well versed the players on the opponents and exactly what we want to do, with respect to our DNA, and we expect to win it, it’s a simple as that.
“I still enjoy the learnings of whatever the result is and pitting our wits against an ex-Premier League club who are playing in League One.”
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