Performance keeps Hill confident of beating drop
ROCHDALE manager Keith Hill praised his side’s performance following a 1-1 draw at play-off hopefuls Scunthorpe United, but bemoaned their lack of killer instinct.
A Callum Camps strike through a crowd of bodies had given Dale a deserved lead on 20 minutes, but Scunthorpe equalised in the second half through an Ivan Toney header.
Rochdale had several big chances to take three points, Oliver Rathbone’s shinned effort just before half time and full debutant Sam Hart’s header off the post being just two examples.
Hill said: “I think it speaks volumes about the game when Matthew Gilks is named man of the match. We have to convert these opportunities… into three points.
“We didn’t get the positive result (but) we did get a positive performance, so I’m really pleased about that going into the last ten games of the season.”
Saturday’s result puts Rochdale five points from League One safety with ten games remaining, a position that Hill had set as a target for his side after their FA Cup run. And the Dale boss remains confident that the players have the quality and desire to beat the drop this season.
“Regardless of what anyone thinks, regardless of what anyone else is doing, the points we earn will guarantee our survival.
“What I’ve done over my time at this football club has been magical but it’s not because I’m a magician, it’s because I have a great relationship with the players.”
One player highlighted for particular praise by Hill was veteran striker Calvin Andrew, returning to the side following injury.
Rochdale’s manager said: “I can’t coach Calvin anything new, he’s an experienced campaigner, he knows that we need him and I thought that he was tremendous today.”
“I wanted to throw him in and I thought he was magnificent.”
Looking ahead, Hill stressed the importance of the remaining home matches having been frustrated by recent visiting sides.
Rochdale have drawn two of the previous three at home and lost the other to relegation rivals Fleetwood Town, with Hill hitting back at criticism following the result.
“I couldn’t believe the amount of criticism we got for losing the game (against Fleetwood) from so called experts who don’t know anything about my team or anything about me or the way I do things”