Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hill: We're down but not out

 Source: MEN

 Guy Nelson

 Keith Hill won’t let Dale’s shock FA Cup defeat to FC United derail his plans for the season.

The Rochdale boss understands the criticism following the 3-2 home defeat to the Rebels at Spotland on Friday night, but he won’t be making wholesale changes to his side.

"It’s disappointing but it’s not dispiriting," said Hill.

"When you think of how far we’ve come in the last few years there shouldn’t be too much disappointment.

"Football is a game of short memories, which is typical of our society which has no patience and is always looking for a quick fix.

"I won’t be ripping up the plan and making major changes.

There’s not an awful lot wrong. I’ve just a few minor critiques and we’ll be looking at those.

"I can understand the criticism of supporters after we lost the game. Our fans have been magnificent and I’m sure they will be for the rest of the season.

"FC United fans are singing for a cause and they generated an unbelievable atmosphere – the best support I’ve witnessed in three-and-a-half years.

"Our fans have to balance out Friday’s result with how far we’ve come in recent years."

The defeat was especially painful for Hill after referee Geoff Eltringham allowed Mike Norton’s controversial winner to stand after the striker had prodded the ball out of keeper Josh Lillis’s grasp.

"We didn’t do enough to win the game, but we shouldn’t have lost it either," said Hill.

"I expect referees to get major decisions right but the referee didn’t on Friday night. We’ve been on the wrong side of major decisions in three of the last four games.

"Decisions like that have a massive impact on managers, players, fans and football clubs. A competition like the FA Cup can be a good source of revenue for clubs like ours.

"I spoke to FC United boss Karl Marginson after the game and he apologised for the manner in which they won. He was of the same opinion as me over their winner."

Hill is confident his side can bounce back when they travel to Sheffield Wednes-day in the league on Saturday.

"I always get a good reaction from the players," said Hill. "I was disappointed with the performance against FC United as well as the result, considering who we were playing against.

"The facts are that we were at home and we are the league club and we should not be conceding three goals to FC United."

Dale’s FA Cup exit was matched by Oldham Athletic’s defeat at Accrington Stanley in the first round.

That means that the pair’s re-arranged League One game will now go ahead on Saturday, November 27 – a date set aside for FA Cup second round games – subject to police approval. The original game at Spotland last Tuesday was abandoned after just eight minutes because of torrential rain.

"It’s much better to play it on a Saturday," added Hill.

"It should be a great atmosphere."