Rochdale manager Keith Hill hopes to realise ‘ultimate dream’ in FA Cup fifth round



Posted Wednesday, February 07, 2018 by PA

Rochdale manager Keith Hill hopes to realise ‘ultimate dream’ in FA Cup fifth round

Rochdale boss Keith Hill admitted the prospect of facing Premier League giants Tottenham in the fifth round of the FA Cup is the “ultimate dream” following his side’s 1-0 win against Millwall.

League One strugglers Dale defied the form guide to knock out Neil Harris’ Championship side in a fourth-round replay decided by Ian Henderson’s 55th minute winner.

And it sets up a potential money-spinning tie against Spurs – or Newport County.

“The finance is the stand-out reward – it’s a chance to dream and a chance to play against Premier League opposition if Spurs beat Newport,” said Hill.

“My head says let’s play Newport, who we would respect, but my heart says let’s play Tottenham. We would have to play at our very, very best and they would have to have an off day for us to have any chance, but that’s the dream.”

Hill was delighted to see off the Lions on a sandy Crown Oil Arena surface and added: “It was a good performance and a well deserved win and Neil Harris has said as much. It’s a special night for the club and for me as a manager to take this club into the fifth round of the competition.

“What we did was do very well against Millwall where other clubs, even Championship clubs, have not managed to do.”

The visitors struggled to get to grips with the difficult surface at Rochdale, where there was more sand visible than grass. It did not lend itself to passing football, but the home side adapted the better.

There was little by way of goalmouth incident in the first half but after the break Andy Cannon’s deflected shot almost beat David Martin at his near post before Calvin Andrew teed up Henderson for the decisive goal, a neat finish from six yards.

Dale saw out the remainder of the game comfortably and Harris had no complaints with the result.

“It’s a disappointing night for us but I’ve no complaints, I thought Rochdale just about deserved to beat us over the two games,” he said.

“They adjusted better to the pitch – which was the worst I’ve ever seen – and they competed better than us. I can’t blame the pitch for the result, but I can blame it for the lack of quality.

“I don’t think either side tested the opposing goalkeeper much, I don’t think the stats would read too favourably for either side. But we congratulate Keith Hill and his side, they deserved to win.

“We’re not going to make a disaster out of this, it was a game of football and we lost to the better team.

“I’ve been here for three years now and we’ve not had many bad times and we’ve always bounced back with a positive result from results like this, and we’ll do that again this time.”

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