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Rochdale v Spurs - opposing manager's view

17 February 2018|Tottenham Hotspur

Rochdale manager Keith Hill has some encouraging words for his players as they look to cause an FA Cup fifth round upset against us on Sunday.

Our hosts this weekend, struggling at the bottom of League One, have reached this stage of the competition for only the third time in their history.

Ahead of the 4pm kick-off at the Crown Oil Arena, Hill said: “If you look at Coventry beating Stoke, Wigan beating West Ham and Bournemouth, I think on a matchday it’s two worlds colliding, but it’s two sets of players competing.

“Tottenham will be competitive, but we’ve got to be as keen and as competitive as we’ve always been. We need intelligent energy, and we won’t differ too far away from the way that we do things, if at all, and it’s important that the players embrace the occasion.

“We’ve no fear, and our FA Cup form has been pretty good this season. We’ve scored 12, conceded two, and I think we’ve been excellent. We can take our cup form into the Tottenham game.”

Former Blackburn defender Hill, in his second spell in charge of Rochdale having also managed Barnsley between 2011 and 2012, went on: “The players have got to believe, trust themselves and elevate their games.

“They’ve got to remember why they turned professional – for games like this. Every week they’re competing in League One to try and aspire to be a Premier League player.

“This is a unique opportunity for the players. They’ve earned it, and they should embrace it and not fear it. I just want them to enjoy the test. It’s more a test of mentality for the players against the speed of the opponents.

“We’ve got talented players, and it’s up to those players to play above and beyond their performance levels, and I do believe that players up and down the Football League pyramid are more than capable of doing that for 90 minutes plus. It’s what we’re striving for – minimum mistakes, maximum impact.”