League One or bust: Hill reminds Rochdale goals are vital to third division future

Rochdale boss Keith Hill insists he has faith in his attackers to produce after three games without a goal, starting at Southend United tomorrow.

Dale, in 11th, will be looking to record their first away league win since August against a side they have beaten just twice in their previous 16 meetings.

Hill was defiant in his defence of his attacking options whilst praising his defence for three consecutive clean sheets.

“We will score goals,” he said.

“It’s always better to draw a game 0-0 than 2-2 or 3-3, we’ve created goals and we’ve seen where we can improve.

“It’s the first time I think I’ve ever gone three games without my team scoring a goal but the positive for me is at least we’ve kept the point we had before the start of the game.”

Hill’s side will need to start picking up points if they are to stay in touch of the play-off spots but the Dale chief is keeping his feet on the ground.

“The balance is retaining League One status.

“Whatever anyone else says I’ve stopped listening because this club has never been in this league for three successive seasons.

“We’ve got to change that and make sure we have a history of being a League One club.”

Meanwhile Hill is well aware of the task his side face when they make the long journey to Roots Hall this weekend.

“They’ve got that momentum. We look back at the previous leagues and teams that get promoted have that momentum.

“Phil [Brown]’s experienced it before with Hull City when they got promoted and had an unbelievable season in the Premier League but it’s how long they can sustain it.”

Dale have a fully-fit squad to send down to Essex but will be without Andy Cannon who is suspended after picking up his fifth booking of the season last weekend.

Meanwhile, Brown’s Southend side, who have won their last three home league games, will be missing influential defender Adam Barrett but Michael Timlin returns.

Brown was highly complementary of Dale and anticipates a good passing game between the sides.

“I remember playing them in League Two and Keith Hill’s side played really good football,” he said.

“I don’t think Keith’s abandoned those principles and it should be a really good game of football.”

Image courtesy of Official Rochdale AFC via YouTube, with thanks.

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