Firm foundations in Dale home run
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!”
Rochdale boss Keith Hill