Beautyman and the Beast: Hill happy with squad despite Rochdale’s defensive naivety

Individual errors cost Rochdale AFC dearly when they visited Peterborough United on Saturday, but manager Keith Hill maintains he is satisfied with the performance of his young side this season.

Goals from Harry Beautyman and Christian Burgess shot The Posh into an early lead which Dale were unable to claw back, despite Joe Rafferty registering the first league goal of his career.

The 2-1 loss meant Hill’s men fell to 15th in League One, and the Rochdale boss is aware that it is sloppy mistakes which are costing his team valuable points.

Speaking to BBC Radio Manchester, Hill said: “I think there’s a little bit of naivety in the way we gave the goals away. Individual errors do paint a sorry picture but that’s what they are.

“With respect to the team’s shape, I don’t think there’s an awful lot wrong.

“It’s difficult because you plan all week to try to secure a clean sheet like every manager does, but it’s very difficult to legislate for the individual errors that we’ve made in the last two games and retain our self-belief.”

Hill was keen to point out that his inexperienced side have had three tough away fixtures since their FA Cup fourth round loss to Stoke City, and will welcome a return to Spotland when Chesterfield visit next weekend.

However, he was positive on the direction in which his squad is progressing and will continue to give opportunities for his young players to make an impact.

“We’re scoring enough, there’s no question about that, but [earning clean sheets] is something we have to work on on the training pitch,” he said.

“We’ll do it this week, we did it last week, and we’ll keep reinforcing those habits that we expect the players to perform with discipline and responsibility. Unfortunately in the last two games they haven’t.

“I am still very encouraged by the squad of players that we’ve got. It’s not the most experienced in the world so I’ve got to give them that experience and give them that exposure by playing them, and that’s what I intend to carry on doing.”

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

Related Articles