Hill says improving Rochdale are ‘close’ to promotion form ahead of Peterborough clash

Rochdale AFC manager Keith Hill believes his side can learn from their 3-2 midweek defeat at Walsall and feels the club is in a good position before his side travel to Peterborough United this Saturday.

Dale conceded three early goals on Tuesday night but almost pulled off a remarkable comeback through strikes from Peter Vincenti and Olly Lancashire.

Up next is an away trip to Peterborough, against whom Rochdale started this season’s campaign, and Hill is aware of where his side need to improve.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Hill said: “We have to erase the team mistakes defensively. We’re not a million miles away from being a real difficult opposition for anyone in this league.

“We’re very close, but having said that, since the turn of the 23 games we’re on point where we should be. One thing does stand out is that we’re scoring a lot of goals – we have done all season and we’ve got to continue in that vein.

“The lads were down [after the Walsall defeat] but not too down because they have a massive ambition for the football club and they saw losing the other night as a real disappointment.”

The loss means Rochdale have slipped down to 12th in League One, level on points with the Posh but with two games in hand.

The fixture is a repeat of the opening day clash which took place at Spotland in August, when Darren Ferguson’s men ran out 1-0 winners thanks to Kyle Vassell’s second-half goal.

Hill is still without Rhys Bennett (knee), while centre-back Jack O’Connell has returned for his third loan spell at the club.

Marcus Maddison is a doubt for Peterborough, but Jon Taylor could make a return from injury while Ferguson needs to decide whether to recall fit-again Ben Alnwick or retain Scott Loach in goal.

In the lead up to Saturday’s encounter, Hill is keen to keep his team’s achievements in perspective.

“You have to [learn and develop] otherwise you digress”, said Hill.

“We want to pit our wits against arguably better opposition and that’s what we have been doing all season.

“We don’t look at the table – we look at points. The games played for the number of points that we’ve got is a real indication of how well we’re doing, so that’s what we’ll stick to.

“It doesn’t matter who we’re playing against, we feel as though we’ve got great value to get as many points as we possibly can.

“If we remain on track with the points per game that I’m expecting then we’ll be fine. If we don’t, then we might have to jig things around a little bit.”

Main image courtesy of Official Rochdale FC via YouTube, with thanks.

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