HILL: SQUAB­BLING A THING OF THE PAST

FLEET­WOOD ......0 ROCHDALE ........3

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Ross Mclean

ROCHDALE man­ager Keith Hill in­sisted his foot­ball phi­los­o­phy and meth­ods were vin­di­cated in the wake of Dale’s com­fort­able vic­tory over Fleet­wood.

Ian Hen­der­son, Ge­orge Don­nelly and Ja­son Kennedy scored the goals which eased any lin­ger­ing rel­e­ga­tion fears for Rochdale who are now eight points clear of the bot­tom two.

Fleet­wood mean­while are three points off the play-offs fol­low­ing the de­feat with An­drew Man­gan miss­ing a sec­ond-half penalty and Nathan Pond see­ing red.

And Hill be­lieves his play­ers are start­ing to buy into his vi­sion at Spot­land and re­served spe­cial praise for former Fleet­wood striker Don­nelly.

“Over the last seven weeks we have worked on my be­liefs and how we should be play­ing foot­ball,” he said.“What we have is a col­lec­tive squad buy­ing into the way the game can be played.

“But there have been a lot of fights along the way with the play- ers to prove I am right. Play­ers will fol­low your lead if they un­der­stand your plan and they do un­der­stand it and the key now is con­sis­tency.

“Ge­orge Don­nelly was my star man and he is learn­ing to trust me. I’ll for­give him for the mis­takes he makes as long as he works hard for the team.

“With hard work and ap­pli­ca­tion then for me Ge­orge could be the next Grant Holt.”

The vis­i­tors took the lead on nine min­utes when Bobby Grant re­leased Don­nelly who squared for Hen­der­son to slot past Scott Davies.

Their ad­van­tage was dou­bled on 61 min­utes as Don­nelly fin­ished at the sec­ond at­tempt af­ter his ini­tial shot was par­tially blocked by Davies.

Sub­sti­tute Man­gan’s penalty was saved by Josh Lil­lis low to his right af­ter a foul on Jamille Matt be­fore Pond re­ceived his sec­ond yel­low for an off-the-ball in­ci­dent.

Rochdale’s third came in the fi­nal minute as Kennedy ri­fled a right-footed shot from 20 yards past the de­spair­ing dive of Davies.

Fleet­wood boss Gra­ham Alexan­der lam­basted the per­for­mance of his play­ers, in­sist­ing it was the worst dis­play he had wit­nessed for a decade.

“There was no sem­blance of a per­for­mance what­so­ever,” he said.“There was no com­pet­i­tive­ness, abil­ity, en­ergy or pride.

“We were to­tally bereft of any- thing and for me that’s the bot­tom of the bar­rel be­cause there is not one pos­i­tive I can take.

“For me it’s the worst I have seen for ten years and not of any pro­fes­sional stan­dard what­so­ever. It was just not ac­cept­able on any level and I’m em­bar­rassed by the lack of any­thing shown by the ma­jor­ity of the team.”

CHAM­PION SOUND: Danny Ked­well is mobbed af­ter net­ting the only goal

GE­ORGE DON­NELLY

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