Go­ing into 2019 on the front foot

Middleton Guardian - - SPORT - RICHARD PARTINGTON

ROCHDALE have been urged to get back on the front foot as they head into 2019 look­ing to climb the League One ta­ble.

Dale suf­fered a re­sound­ing 4-0 de­feat at home against Brad­ford City on Saturday ahead of their New Year’s Day clash at Don­caster.

Man­ager Keith Hill was keen to put the Brad­ford re­sult be­hind them quickly and get back to the kind of form that saw Dale pick up suc­ces­sive wins against Southend and Black­pool prior to the Ban­tams’ visit.

“We are in a healthy po­si­tion so we have to fight and play on the front foot,” he said. “We are en­ter­ing into Jan­uary which is go­ing to be an im­por­tant month for us with re­spect to maybe re­cruit­ing and re­cy­cling play­ers and try­ing to move for­ward in the league as well.

“But while we’re do­ing that we have to try to make sure we take care of busi­ness as well, the real busi­ness of per­for­mances. Brad­ford were bet­ter than us in ev­ery de­part­ment and some­times you have to hold your hands up. But you should never play the league po­si­tion – they are an ex­cel­lent side.”

Saturday’s game was chair­man Chris Dun­phy’s last at the helm and Hill is in no doubt as to the ul­ti­mate dream for the new regime in charge – at­tain­ing the club’s own train­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

“In any re­la­tion­ship there has to be a lot of give and take. We have done a lot of great busi­ness at the club and I have never dis­re­spected Chris or the club when busi­ness hasn’t gone the way that I wanted it to, be it buy­ing or sell­ing play­ers, ex­tend­ing loan deals, bud­gets. We have al­ways worked through it and we have al­ways had a strong re­la­tion­ship be­cause, as man­ager of this club, I feel I am a fi­nan­cial cus­to­dian and I think that’s where I get a lot of ap­pre­ci­a­tion from Chris. Over the course of my time at this club we have built a lot of play­ers’ fu­tures and sold them on for great mon­e­tary value as as­sets for this club that has also got us pro­moted, re­tained League One sta­tus and al­lowed us to se­cure the own­er­ship of the sta­dium. The next phase for this club is to se­cure our own state-ofthe-art train­ing fa­cil­ity, that is the dream, but it’s go­ing to be a very dif­fi­cult dream to achieve.

“We re­ally need some good en­ergy to try to make this club evolve, so we can have the same fa­cil­i­ties as Fleet­wood or Crewe, for ex­am­ple, sim­i­lar sized clubs to our­selves who have found a way to do it. Chris has been in­stru­men­tal in try­ing to do that and hope­fully we can carry that on.”

Tim Goode

Man­ager Keith Hill in­sists at­tain­ing the club’s own train­ing fa­cil­ity would be the next phase for Rochdale

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