Keith Hill expecting tough test from ‘leader’ Jim Bentley’s Morecambe, but wants Rochdale to take their chances

By Michael Kelleher

Rochdale boss Keith Hill expects former teammate Jim Bentley’s leadership qualities to be reflected in his Morecambe side during Saturday’s game at Globe Arena.

Hill ended his playing career alongside Bentley in the heart of the Shrimps defence and has fond memories of their time together.

It is no surprise to him that Morecambe have excelled under Bentley’s guidance and Hill knows Rochdale will have to battle hard to avoid a second successive league defeat.

“I think Jim Bentley has done an excellent job,” he said.

“Me and Jim played as a partnership at the centre of Morecambe’s defence and it is no surprise that he is a manager because he’s leader.

“Good managers lead from the front and push from behind and that’s what Jim is doing and I’m really pleased that he’s doing well.

“It will be a difficult task (at Morecambe) because Jim has created a team in his own image – hard to beat, competitive and an unbelievable willingness to win.”

Hill pointed to his team’s lack of a cutting edge up front as the biggest factor in their disappointing midweek loss to Accrington Stanley.

However forward Bobby Grant returns from a four-game suspension and Hill will also have new signing Ian Henderson available for the game.

The former Colchester player signed with Rochdale on Monday but was too late to be considered for the Accrington game.

Hill said although he has told his players they need to improve their attacking play, he remains confident they can and will do so.

“The players were really down after the game but I’m looking for them to continue to believe, continue to show the right attitude and the right application,” he said.

“We got to half-time again on Tuesday with a clean sheet but we’ve got to be better in front of goal and we’ve got to take our chances.

“We’ve got to get back to having a freedom in front of goal and we will win football matches.”

The club have also announced the signing of former Dale midfielder Joe Thompson, 23, on loan from Tranmere for the remainder of the season.

Thompson left for the Superwhites – where he made 17 appearances – in the summer after six years at Spotland.

Image courtesy of TexacoUKFC, via YouTube, with thanks.

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