Hill’s Rochdale close on top six after ‘bonus game’ win over Scunthorpe

Rochdale AFC inched to within three points of the top-six after Saturday’s win over Scunthorpe United, with manager Keith Hill pleased to have taken advantage of his side’s games in hand over their play-off rivals.

Dale triumphed 3-1 at Spotland thanks to goals from Michael Rose, Ian Henderson and Peter Vincenti, while Kevin van Veen netted for the visitors.

Rochdale are up to eighth in League One, having played two less games than those around them, and Hill was delighted to have capitalised on their most recent opportunity to register points.

Speaking to BBC Radio Manchester, Hill said: “We have worked so hard to make sure the game in hand can be really significant.

“We’ve worked exceptionally hard or excessively hard to get to this point that it’s a bonus game.

“It’s special when you get a performance like that today. I thought the performance was excellent and it is a great result, and that’s 63 goals this season.”

Rochdale’s goal tally is the joint-fourth highest in the division, with Henderson notching 18 times this campaign.

Strike partner Vincenti also has 12 League goals and the Rochdale boss is satisfied with the levels of commitment his team are displaying since their promotion from League Two last season.

“It’s a collective environment. There is a lot of sacrificial behaviour going on. The team needs to connect in everything that we do,” said Hill.

“They’re a talented group, there’s no doubt about that. But with talent you’ve got to have an application and we address that with the players.

“The lads are really well prepared for the hard work. There are no passengers. Every single player has to work hard.”

Rochdale have now won four of their last five fixtures, coming from behind to beat Notts County in midweek thanks once again to Henderson and Vincenti.

Dale travel to Boundary Park on Tuesday night to take on Oldham, looking to avenge their 3-0 defeat in November’s fiery reverse fixture.

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

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