Keith Hill wants Rochdale to carry on winning after victory over Walsall

Posted Wednesday, March 07, 2018 by PA

Keith Hill wants Rochdale to carry on winning after victory over Walsall

Keith Hill wants his Rochdale side to keep up the pressure on their relegation rivals after climbing off the bottom of the League One table with a 3-0 win at Walsall.

A Jim McNulty header – his first goal for the club – plus an Ian Henderson strike and a cracking solo goal from Bournemouth loanee Mihai Dobre gave Dale a vital victory.

They remain nine points from safety but have four games in hand on some of the teams around them due to their heroics in the FA Cup.

Hill said: “I want it to be the turning point but I just don’t know on a daily basis with this group of players.

“They can be so special. But we’ve had too many self-implosive situations throughout the season and it mystifies me because we are better than the position we are in.

“The players are better than that but I just hope they accept the responsibility for the position we are in over the next 15 games.

“I have done that all season. They have got to protect me a little bit now.

“I don’t want to go over the top and say we were superb and then watch us fall on our backsides against Rotherham on Saturday.

“It’s got to be back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back wins or we are going down, it’s as simple as that. It’s got to be a minor miracle.

“We have to win these games in hand so we are like a stealth bomber and silently sneak up on the other teams.

“When we are playing and they are sat at home with a cup of tea, watching a boxset, we need to make them think ‘Where have Rochdale come from?’”

Walsall stay 13th, seven points clear of trouble but rued a missed penalty from Erhun Oztumer when they were 2-0 down.

Boss Jon Whitney said: “I thought it looked like we didn’t have any legs tonight. Rochdale looked fresh, sharper than us and it was probably a game too far for a couple of our players tonight.

“We couldn’t play with the energy we usually do. We looked lethargic.

“The penalty might have changed things a little bit if it had gone in but I just don’t think we had it in the tank tonight.

“We’ve just been beaten 3-0 by bottom of the table so I’m not going to try to paint over the cracks – it looks like a poor result and it was.

“But I didn’t sensationalise after we won 3-0 at Southend on Saturday – we just have to brush ourselves down and the players have to show some mettle.

“We have to go to Shrewsbury who are having a really top season so we can’t sulk. We have to be proactive and move forward.”




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