Coral PR man and TalkSport breakfast show guest John Hill (aka The Rochdale Cowboy) gives us the lowdown on today’s visitors Rochdale.
It’s been a bit of a mixed bag in terms of results so far. Despite being unbeaten in the league on your travels, there have been a couple of heavy home defeats. How would you assess your start to the season?
I’ve been relatively pleased by what I have seen so far this season. We have had a couple of beatings at home, however, we have bumped into some good teams in Peterborough and Barnsley, both of which will be up there at the end of the season. I think we are a very good counter-attacking team therefore in many ways it can suit us to be playing away from home where our results have been very positive so far.
Last year’s great escape was pretty impressive considering the huge back log of games due to a good cup run. What are your aims for this season?
I know the league table never lies, however, we got dragged into a relegation scrap last season because of our pitch and a great cup run which ended against Spurs at Wembley. Once our pitch was re-laid, we started getting positive results again.
At one stage we were 12 points adrift of safety so it was some turnaround. I really don’t think we are going to be down there again this season. I expect us to be safely in mid-table at the end of the campaign.
Keith Hill continues to keep the club in League One despite having one of the smallest budgets. How good a job is he doing and has he got a job for life at Rochdale?
Keith Hill continues to produce miracles at Rochdale. It is great that other clubs and supporters recognise what he has achieved at our club.
Not only has he changed the mentality at the whole football club, he genuinely believes in a positive brand of football that he would pay money to watch. This is his second spell and I am sure even if things did go wrong, the club would be 100% behind him.
The signing of Zach Clough raised eyebrows when he joined on loan deadline day from Forest. He had a good season in League One with Bolton a couple of seasons ago and has already scored for you. How big a signing is that for the Dale?
It’s a huge marquee signing. I have a couple of Bolton fan friends and I remember how much they used to rave about this kid. I am sure he is going to enjoy working with Keith Hill and hopefully he can get the best out of him again. If that proves to be the case, we have some player on our hands.
Which other players should we look out for in the Rochdale side?
Ian Henderson continues to be our leading talisman. He’s been a phenomenal player for us over the last 5 years. Not only is he a goalscorer, he always a part of everything good we do. In midfield, Callum Camps is a young player which a huge future and is very confident with the ball at his feet.
Scunthorpe 1-2 Rochdale