‘Bring on the BIGGER clubs’: Rochdale manager Keith Hill already hopeful of fifth-round FA Cup tie

By Josh Nicholls

Rochdale have been handed an FA Cup fourth round tie at home to either Macclesfield Town or Sheffield Wednesday as their reward for knocking out Leeds United on Saturday.

Although this draw is not the glamour tie many Dale fans would have hoped for, do not expect to find manager Keith Hill complaining.

Speaking after his team’s 2-0 defeat of Championship side Leeds, who are 34 places above Dale in the football league, Hill was already eying the possibility of advancing to the fifth round.

“If we can get through to the next round after the next round (then) that’s the one,” Hill told The Dale Player.

“I think the more opposition you start knocking out of the competition, the more likely it is you’re going to get a bigger club.”

While defeating Macclesfield or Sheffield Wednesday will certainly not be straightforward, Dale will fancy their chances especially after triumphing over Leeds for the first time in their history.

Leeds are 12 places higher in the Championship than Sheffield Wednesday, and with Macclesfield a league below Dale, they would certainly start as favourites should they face the Cheshire club in round four.  

But whatever their fate in the competition from now on, the magical afternoon Dale enjoyed at Spotland on Saturday cannot be taken away from them.

They beat 1972 FA cup winners Leeds in style with two spectacular goals from Scott Hogan and Ian Henderson and the latter could not hide his delight after the match.

“You train hard all your professional career for moments like that,” Henderson told The Dale Player.

“People will say did you mean it? Well of course I meant it because it went in (and) I consistently practice that technique.

“It was fortunate that the ball came to me at that magic moment and the technique was correct.”

Such was the quality of the Henderson’s volley that it was named goal of the day on ITV’s FA Cup highlights programme by Scotland manager Gordon Strachan and the Rochdale boss also weighed in with some praise of his own.

“It was a superb finish,” Hill added.

“It was a finish that wouldn’t have looked out of place in the Premier League.”   

Image courtesy of Official Rochdale via YouTube, with thanks.

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