What pressure? Keith Hill blames media for trying to turn up heat as Rochdale move into third in league

Rochdale manager Keith Hill has tried to relieve pressure on his in-form side after their 1-0 win over Exeter put them in the driving seat for automatic promotion.

Dale moved into third in League Two after a Jamie Allen goal saw off The Grecians on Saturday, placing them just one point behind league leaders Chesterfield.

Hill’s side also have a great chance to consolidate their position in their next match when fourth-placed Oxford United visit Spotland in what looks set to be a key fixture.

Hill has tried to play down the significance of the coming fixture though, insisting the pressure in none-existent.  

“There is no pressure,” Hill told BBC Radio Manchester. “What constitutes pressure? I think pressure is a word often used by the media to try and crank up pressure.

“With respect to my players they are free of pressure, we’ve already achieved an enormous amount this season and we’ll continue to do that as long as we play happy.

“I won’t let any type of pressure get to the players. We are going to play happy for the remaining 14 games of the season including against Oxford at home.”

Dale have lost just once in eight league matches and are unbeaten in four, a run they will hope to extend against promotion rivals Oxford.

History suggests they may do just that, as Dale have won three of the last four meetings between the two sides at Spotland.

The pick of these was a 5-1 victory in April 2005, with Grant Holt bagging a brace and England striker Rickie Lambert also finding the net along with Ernie Cooksey and Greg Heald.

Image courtesy of OfficialRochdaleAFC, via YouTube, with thanks.

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