VALUE-FOR-MONEY DALE CLING TO FAINT HOPE
WHETHER or not Rochdale can snatch a last-gasp play-off place, manager Keith Hill reckons it’s been a magnificent season.
Underdogs Dale go into this afternoon’s clash against fifthplaced Bradford – who have already booked their end-of-season berth – in eighth place.
It means they have to win today and hope the teams directly above them in the table, Millwall and Southend, both drop points to steal into sixth place.
Hill said: “You always have belief at the start of the season with the players you recruit, but the first mountain is 50 points. Everything else is a bonus.
“The reality is that we’re a small club in League One, but we have worked hard to give ourselves an opportunity.
“When you consider the teams in and around us, in terms of points gained against pounds spent it’s been a massive success.
“We are financially prudent, we balance the books and we’re not in debt. We have a very good young squad and we are improving year in, year out.”
With their play-off place secure, Bradford may not have the same need to win as Rochdale, though they know a victory could lift them to third or fourth and give them a home second leg in the playoff semi-finals.
Hill added: “Bradford have had a very good season. They are very competitive and their players represent their manager Stuart McCall really well. I don’t expect any favours.
“I’ll be expecting a very competitive match because they are a very good side.”
As for what’s happening elsewhere, the former Barnsley boss won’t be wasting too much time thinking about that.
“We are focused on playing Bradford,” he added. “We’re not looking at the side-show, the what-ifs or maybes. We are just looking to give our all against Bradford.”