Top-ten finish ‘massive aim’ for Rochdale as Keith Hill builds for new dawn at Spotland

By Suraj Radia

Keith Hill is aiming for a top-ten finish with Rochdale after committing his long-term future to the club ahead of visit Oxford United on Saturday.

The Dale travel to the Kassam Stadium on the back of just one defeat in nine games, prompting Hill to sign a new three-year deal on Thursday.

And the former Barnsley chief insisted his side are looking at the teams above them rather than below, with high expectations of his players after a good run of form.

“Finishing in the top ten is a massive aim,” Hill said.

“Arguably there’s nothing for us to play for apart from a little bit of pride, but I expect us to be competitive regardless of who we are playing and regardless of the state of the season.

“We’re in good spirits and I’m seeing a lot of reflection on what I expect as an identity of the way games should be played, with and without the ball.

“The players are looking good in performances, so I’m pleased going into the last two games of the season.”

Rochdale have no new injury worries after last week’s draw with Port Vale although Hill is expected to hand a full debut to on-loan defender Wayne Thomas.

He feels his demands promote a winning mentality and believes recent fortunes at the club have impacted everyone from the stands to the offices.

“That [fighting] spirit breeds a winning environment,” Hill said. “There’s a great feeling about preparing yourself to win instead of expecting to lose.

“We’ve changed the psyche slightly of the way that we train and what I demand from the players in training on a regular basis.

“I feel as though there’s an air of anticipation from our supporters and little bit of excitement again.

“There’s an excitement in the changing rooms and in the staff office and I’m really glad that I came back to the football club.”

Image courtesy of TexacoUKFC, via YouTube, with thanks

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.

Related Articles