Updated: Wednesday, 3rd June 2020 @ 3:06pm

Bury v Rochdale: 'Friends' Flitcroft and Hill ready for managerial face off

Bury v Rochdale: 'Friends' Flitcroft and Hill ready for managerial face off

| By James Perkins

Bury manager David Flitcroft and his Rochdale counterpart Keith Hill are ready to put their close friendship temporarily aside as they meet this weekend in a League One local derby.

The Shakers’ boss became Hill’s assistant manager at Rochdale, where they secured promotion and then moved together to manage Barnsley before Hill returned to the Dale.

Bury, who currently sit fourth in the table, go into a second derby match in a week after Wigan ended the Shakers' run of six successive league wins in controversial circumstances.

Both managers have spoken fondly of each other, but Flitcroft is still focused on securing a win on Saturday as they go head-to-head in League One for the first time.

“We both want to win the game, but before and after it we’ll be friends,” Flitcroft said.

“I speak to Hilly a few times a week, about who they’ve played, how his squad’s shaping up and how we’re doing.

“I want Keith to do well and there are some great people at the club, so I want them to do well too.

“The respect levels will be there that possibly weren’t there against Wigan.”

The Dale manager, whose side fell out of the play-offs last week after a 3-2 reverse against Sheffield United, echoed the importance of their relationship.

“He [Flitcroft] means a lot to me,” Hill said.

“I’m so glad that he’s doing really well in his own right because he always wanted to be a manager in his own right.

"He’s an outstanding coach, manager and I wish him all the best. I really do.

“Football sometimes becomes too important and it shouldn’t be the most important thing in the world.

“We’ll have a drink after Saturday’s game, there’s no question about that.”

Image courtesy of Chronicle Online via YouTube, with thanks.