Firm foun­da­tions in Dale home run

Middleton Guardian - - SPORT -

WORK rate and hon­esty have been the cor­ner­stones of Keith Hill’s suc­cess at Rochdale AFC – and they were back in abun­dance at the week­end.

Dale earned only their sec­ond home win of the League One cam­paign when they beat Charl­ton 1-0 thanks to Ian Hen­der­son’s fourth-minute strike.

De­spite the nar­row score­line, Hill and coun­ter­part Lee Bowyer said the home side were de­serv­ing win­ners, with the Dale chief de­lighted to see his team on the front foot from the off.

“We were at it from the get go and that’s why we got the per­for­mance,” said Hill. “We didn’t give the op­po­si­tion time, and in­stead of me chang­ing tac­tics, Charl­ton were chang­ing tac­tics.

“Our per­son­nel choices were good, our tac­tics were good and that al­lowed us to take the lead and then I thought we man­aged the sec­ond half well.

“If you’ve got all your play­ers putting ev­ery­thing into the per­for­mance then you will get re­sults. We have qual­ity play­ers and I’m not dis­re­spect­ing my play­ers or the fot­ball club when I say we haven’t got the same qual­ity as Charl­ton, for ex­am­ple. But one qual­ity we should al­ways have over any op­po­si­tion is our en­ergy, our work rate and our hon­esty.

“I think we showed that and it cer­tainly gave us the per­fect plat­form for the re­sult.

“It’s the rea­son why we are a League One foot­ball club, be­cause we are hon­est and we work harder than the op­po­nent with an un­der­dog at­ti­tude.”

The re­sult meant Dale started the first of four suc­ces­sive home games in win­ning style, with Lu­ton Town next up in the league be­fore the Check­a­trade Tro­phy game against Le­ices­ter un­der 21s and the FA Cup clash against Gateshead.

“We’ve got an­other home game on Satur­day and the more points you get they be­come less dif­fi­cult and you are un­der less pres­sure,” said Hill.

“I thought the lads dealt with the pres­sure of only hav­ing won once at home well. I think the last per­for­mance at home, against Don­caster, was very good and it didn’t re­flect the score­line but I thought we were wor­thy win­ners.

“We had op­por­tu­ni­ties as well and I thought their goal­keeper was out­stand­ing. Some of the saves he made were out­stand­ing. I think we could have been slightly bet­ter in posses­sion. At ev­ery op­por­tu­nity we tried to at­tack. Our full-backs should have slowed the game down a lit­tle bit more, but I’m pleased.

“It’s 1-0, we’re at home, we’re get­ting points on the board which we need if we’re go­ing to have a chance of stay­ing in League One so we’re giv­ing our­selves a fair crack of the whip.”

Bren­dan Moore was named the spon­sors’ man of the match af­ter sav­ing Lyle Tay­lor’s penalty – hav­ing con­ceded the spot kick him­self for a foul on Dar­ren Prat­ley – and later pulling off a stun­ning stop to push Josh Cullen’s 25-yard strike onto the wood­work.

“The one that he pushed onto the post was an in­cred­i­ble save,” said Hill.

“He was re­spon­si­ble for the penalty – that was clumsy. But Bren­dan’s like that, he tends to make a mis­take and then an un­be­liev­able save.

“The penalty was not a penalty miss, it was an out­stand­ing save – but it was his fault we were in that predica­ment in the first place!

“He came for a cross he had no chance of get­ting and that’s the crea­ture that is Bren­dan Moore!”

Vin­cent Cole

Rochdale boss Keith Hill

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