Fighting Spirit: Keith Hill backing Rochdale to finish strong ahead of Fleetwood Town clash

By Michael Kelleher

Keith Hill has called on his Rochdale players to keep showing their ‘fighting spirit’ ahead of Saturday’s trip to Fleetwood Town.

The Dale capped off a hectic Easter period with a dramatic late away win against Exeter City which lifted them six points clear of the relegation zone.

Hill was delighted with the performance and is hoping his side can finish the season strong on the back of the positive result.

“We’re not safe yet but [Monday’s victory] was a big send out to the other teams below us that there’s a fighting spirit,” said Hill.

“We played really well on Monday but we were staring defeat in the face again which was quite remarkable really considering the way that we played and the chances we created.

“It was one of those performances where you’re disappointed with the goal but happy with everything else.

“I was really pleased for the players because it could have been such a reversal of emotions had we lost that game looking at the league table. It was very pleasing to get the rewards that we deserved.”

Hill admitted the Exeter result had given both fans and players a big boost and he is hoping to take that momentum into the game with Fleetwood.

“It does take a lot out of you because of the physical and mental drain that those two games [over Easter] have put on the players, the staff and the supporters,” he said.

“It has been quite harsh so they’ve had a little bit of time to reflect and there’s a smile on the players’ faces rather than a little bit of trepidation so we’re looking forward to the Fleetwood game.

“We have to make sure that we can get as many points as we possibly can up at Fleetwood and going into the game against Southend on Wednesday.

“I’m looking forward to it, the players are looking forward to it and we’re well versed.”

On-loan midfielder Joe Thompson will not be available after being recalled by parent club Tranmere Rovers to help combat the Merseysiders’ growing injury crisis.

Terry Gornell could be in line to start after watching the Exeter win from the bench following his return from a groin injury.

Image courtesy of TexacoUKFC, via YouTube, with thanks

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