Per­for­mance keeps Hill con­fi­dent of beat­ing drop

Middleton Guardian - - SPORT - GE­ORGE KELSEY

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”

Keith Hill

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