Hill - Lessons To Learn From Burton Draw
Manager Keith Hill has said that Burton Albion served to be a good reminder of how Rochdale need to be at their best this season to get the results we want to ensure we reach our aim of promotion this season.
Speaking to the Official Site and looking back to Burton the gaffer explained that it was a very difficult game for us, and to be fair they didn't give us any surprises because they have approached games the same way all season.
'They've played very similar, they don't score many, they don't concede many, they're very resolute, they've got good players sticking to a basic system that has worked well for them.'
Hill says what he doesn't want to do though is see Dale start playing percentage football when we face sides who set up like that, because ultimately they are better at it than us and had we done that against Burton we really could've come undone and played into their hands, so he was pleased with how the players stuck to their own game plan and it's also why he was delighted with a point at full time because he knows we had to earn it.
Hill also commented that he felt the fans could manage the game better themselves in terms of expectations.
'The expectation to come and see us do what many a team have failed to do was not unrealistic because I was expecting us to beat them, but we have to show patience. We have to make sure that everybody from this point is inclusive in managing our team to the successes that we all want, not expect.'
The gaffer goes on to say that in the final 15 games after a long season you never quite know how players are going to react when the pressure of being at the business end of the season start to mount, but he's been pleased so far because the players revert back to their own basics and the organisation they have drilled themselves in all season long, but when it comes to the supporters it does mean more patience, and they can't allow their frustrations or anxiety to transmit to the pitch because it does get to the players.
They need to keep supporting them and driving them on and trust that when the team see an opportunity to exploit they will do their all, especially in games not going overly our way.
Hill does add that with a young squad, game management and how things play out is going to be interesting because it's a huge learning curve for many of the players, and that's why he, as well as anyone else, has to bear with them at points.
'There aren't too many players who have got he know how so we have got to embrace them and we have to forgive them for their mistakes and we have to make sure that we let them play happy football.'
Up next is Exeter City who are now on an unbeaten run themselves after a major wobble in the middle of the season when you look at their results.
As we make the long trip to their home ground, we will find them in good form so it's going to be another good test for the lads.
'They're a very good technical and tactical side and they've got a very good manager. We've got a real statesman of the game in Paul Tisdale. I think he has done a marvellous job at Exeter and I think he's bringing a new generation of players through. It's a really difficult game for us, and a lot of respect goes from me to Exeter and Paul.'
With that said, Hill will no doubt still be expecting us to come back with maximum points, as it would be strange if he didn't such is his belief in the team.