Boss is enjoying his entertainers
KEITH Hill is enjoying the way Rochdale are playing their football again – and insists the entertainment factor is an important one.
Dale twice came from behind to draw 2-2 against Blackpool on Saturday and maintain their mid-table position in League One.
Hill was happy in the main with his side’s showing at Bloomfield Road, where a Ryan Delaney strike and a late Calvin Andrew header earned a share of the spoils.
“The way we played is really important, it’s got to be entertaining,” said Hill.
“We do want to win football matches but we have got to win the way I want us to play and I’m pretty pleased with that. Looking at it from a manager’s perspective and a supporters’ perspective – the way that I want to play the game – I am reasonably happy.
“I think the draw was a fair result. I thought we were brilliant in the first half and the scoreline was the only disappointment from the first half – the mini mistakes we made for both goals. But we responded well
“We were very clean in our regains and it was a very competitive match for us, some great tackles and an entertaining game.
“The one thing I want our supporters to do and the one thing I want to do is enjoy watching our team and I’ve started to again.
“I can’t just pick a side because the opponents are bigger than us, physical with respect to height and size. So I have got to get back to what I like about my team and the way that I like to play football, and I think in the last two games we have. So I was pretty pleased with aspects of the game and the courage to go and get an equaliser.”
Hill was pleased with Delaney’s fine finish – but said it was going to be a tough campaign for his development considering the amount of international call ups he’s likely to receive.
“It’s going to be a difficult season for us with Ryan because he keeps getting called up for international fixtures – he went away after this game – and that’s the disappointment, we are never going to get any continuity with Ryan, which is a shame,” he said.
“He had an outstanding half season for us and I expected him to kick on this season but his game time for us keeps getting disrupted.
“Ryan’s goal was well deserved, but to go in 2-1 at half time was really disappointing and we said to the players that to have to score three goals to win this game away from home was a bit of an insult to the way we were playing, so cut out the mini mistakes.
“We got the deserved equaliser for the whole of the game – I thought second half Blackpool were a bit better than us and a few of our players who played on Tuesday (in the goalless draw against Bristol Rovers) and haven’t played a lot of games looked a little bit jaded.
“So we made the changes and it was a great equaliser from Calvin Andrew. It was a perfect end to the game for us – if we can’t win the game then we certainly don’t want to lose it.
“We don’t want to get into that situation where we are losing, losing, losing.”
New Zealand All Blacks’ legend Zinzan Brooke took a training session for Rochdale RUFC’s under 14s this week. See page 42
Dale manager Keith Hill