Updated: Thursday, 5th December 2019 @ 2:39pm

Carol, please reveal today's Rochdale conundrum! Keith Hill looks to complete promotion puzzle

Carol, please reveal today's Rochdale conundrum! Keith Hill looks to complete promotion puzzle

| By Josh Nicholls

Keith Hill is keen to move on from Saturday’s surprise 3-0 defeat at Mansfield Town and solve Rochdale’s promotion jigsaw.

The result saw Dale slip to second in League Two but they still have a six-point cushion over Fleetwood Town who head the pack chasing automatic promotion.

With four games remaining Dale need seven points to assure promotion and after his side conceded all three goals from set-pieces on Saturday Hill is keen to forgive his players and complete the job.

“We needed nine points before the game (on Saturday) now we need seven and we’ve lost so it’s a funny conundrum but let’s hope we solve it,” Hill told BBC Radio Manchester.

“There was a physical element to the opposition and we can’t legislate for the type of mistakes we made and expect to come away with points.

“But I have to be able to forgive the players and I will do. The players are disappointed but they’ll realise where we are in the league and how well we’ve done this season and they want to get the job done.”

Dale’s first opportunity to move a step closer to promotion will come at Spotland on Good Friday when they face play-off hopefuls Southend United who currently lie sixth.

Hill insists that at this stage he would rather play teams, who like his team are fighting for something be it promotion or relegation.

“I’d rather play against the teams that have got a little bit of pressure on them,” Hill added.

“There was a freedom to the way Mansfield played and these type of games are at the end of season are very easy for the opposition (when they have little to play for).     

“We’ve got some big games coming up (but) it’s great to be in this position.”

Image courtesy of Texaco UK FC via YouTube, with thanks.