Rochdale v Huddersfield Town: Dale’s hard and honesty can cause big upset

Rochdale manager Keith Hill.
Rochdale manager Keith Hill.
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Rochdale manager Keith Hill said his side will have to be ‘at their best’ if they want to continue their impressive FA Cup run against Huddersfield.

Hill’s side have reached the FA Cup fourth round in three of the last four seasons, and Dale’s manager is relishing the chance to take on higher-league opposition in today’s tie at the Spotland Stadium.

“We’re looking forward to trying to win this game,” said former Barnsley manager Hill.

“One thing we have done at this club is win games because of the way that we play, the way we prepare for games and the ambition of the players.

“One thing you can guarantee from us is the same thing I expect of my players every week – endeavour, hard work and honesty. We’re in really good shape, I don’t see why we can’t go further in the competition. These are fit players but they’re going to have to put it into process against what is a very good side in Huddersfield.”

Speaking about their Championship opponents, Hill expressed his admiration of their recent progress and of opposing manager David Wagner.

“I enjoy watching Huddersfield,” added Hill. “Wagner has turned an average Championship side into promotion contenders. I think he’s done an amazing job.

“The players have responded to him and he’s been very cute in the loan market and with his transfer activity. He’s proven that with less resources you can still be successful in any league.”

Despite admitting the FA Cup was not a ‘main priority’ when he took charge of the club for a second spell in 2013, Hill has welcomed Rochdale’s recent success in the competition.

“It’s good exposure for the club and for the players, something I don’t think we get enough of,” said Hill, whose side beat Barrow 2-0 in the last round. “I think it has and will stimulate league form and I’m really pleased were doing well in the FA Cup again this season.”

Rochdale will be looking to bounce back after a surprising 4-0 home loss to Oxford United. The League One promotion-chasers have lost their last two, ending a run of five successive victories in the league.