HILL’S DALE AIM TO CASH IN AGAINST THE REBELS
THERE may be a four-division gap between the sides, but Rochdale manager Keith Hill won’t be taking Slough Town for granted tomorrow night. Dale dismantled National League side Bromley 4-0 in the first round and now face a side a further two rungs down the Non-League ladder. The BT cameras will be at Arbour Park’s 3G pitch to see if the Rebels can pull off a shock, but Hill insists Dale won’t underestimate the Evo-Stik South Premier high-flyers, who won 6-0 at National League North side Gainsborough Trinity in the first round. “We have played quite a few Non-League sides and we always treat every opponent with respect,” he said. “Everyone has a chance in 90 minutes, so we have to prepare ourselves to the best of our ability.” The tie is already a lucrative one for the League One side as they will pocket £72,000 for the live television coverage. Another £27,000 goes to the winners in prize money. Yet that potential £100,000 windfall could be dwarfed by the potential future financial rewards to come for the victors. A plum tie with a Premier League fat cat in the third round would be highly lucrative. “We are just an honest football club,” said Hill (right). “We try to make ends meet and there are two main ways of doing that – selling players and cup runs. “The further you go, the more prize money you get and the more chance you have of getting a big side and TV games. You give yourselves a fighting chance if you win football matches.” Though they are in the lower reaches of League One, Rochdale will be redhot favourites to advance to the third round. And it’s a plus that the experienced Hill, who celebrated his 500th game as a Football League manager with a 2-0 home win against Peterborough last weekend, is at the helm. That tally is no mean feat at a time when managers seem to be getting sacked almost by the week. The 48-year-old added: “You have to earn the time and you have to win matches. With continuity, you gain trust. When you are getting on with things, you don’t take much notice of milestones like that, but it is very difficult to achieve. “I’m ambitious for the people I work with and I expect them to show the same ambition. “I like working with good players who have the ambition to succeed.” Tomorrow’s Slough v Rochdale game wraps up the second round programme. Before that, there are nine games scheduled for today. Five other EFL sides face Non-League opposition. Coventry host Boreham Wood, who knocked out Blackpool in the first round, Peterborough visit Woking, who sent Bury packing, and Mansfield host Guiseley, who accounted for Accrington Stanley. League Two leaders Luton travel to the north-east to take on Gateshead, while Wycombe host Leatherhead. There are four all-EFL clashes today. There’s a London derby as AFC Wimbledon host Charlton in a match between two League One sides and Doncaster host Scunthorpe. Blackburn are favourites to beat Crewe at home, while there’s an all-League Two clash between Newport and Cambridge United.