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Interviews

A Great Opportunity For The Younger Players - Keith Hill

8 October 2018

Keith Hill says the Checkatrade Trophy is a great opportunity and challenge for the younger players in his squad.

Dale travel to Fleetwood Town on Tuesday night for their second group stage game, after beating Bury in the opening match last month.

“I’ve put the challenge down to those [younger] players,” said Hill.

“It’s up to them to rise to the challenge to take us as far in the competition as they possibly can.

“I’ve got a team in mind that will play and it’ll reflect a certain age and a certain energy to go to Fleetwood. There’ll be no fear.

“It’s a great opportunity for the younger players to take up that challenge, led by one or two of the older players.

“Kgosi [Ntlhe] has got to take charge of looking after the young players like he did against Oldham Athletic [in the Lancashire Senior Cup].

“We’ll go there with a similar sort of side to the Oldham and Bury games, with respect to the players availability, and there’s one or two players who need game time.

“I think Stephen Dooley might be involved, Joe Thompson potentially might be involved, so it’s a good opportunity for those players, but we need to go there with a winning mentality, winning actions, and if we do that we should be okay.

“It’s a stimulus for me as a manager. Some of the games we’ve had behind closed doors, the game at Oldham Athletic, it was a brilliant reflection of everything I expect as a manager.

“First and foremost, energy, the ability to run around unconditionally, get the ball back, when you’ve got the ball look after it, when you haven’t got the ball get it back again, go and score goals, defend your own goal – simple football.

“But it’s measured, the way you want to play, by the attitude of the players, and the attitude of the players has been magnificent in the Checkatrade and at Oldham, for example.”

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