Tag Archives: keith hill

2/3 of Rochdale Fans Now Believe They Will Now Be Safe Following BBM Impact

Many were anticipating the sacking of Keith Hill at Rochdale, after a run that landed the Dale in the bottom three and looking more and more likely to be playing League Two football next season.

Brian Barry -Murphy was given the job of caretaker manager, and has never looked back since. Having been made permanent manager a week ago following four games in charge, of which he won two and drew two – It seemed the board back the former Dale player.

After winning their all important game in-hand against Accrington this week, Rochdale now are level on games and two points clear of the relegation zone. Furthermore, things are so tight in that bottom half of League One, a couple more wins could actually see Dale hit mid-table with only six points separating 13th – 23rd.

We put a poll out on our Football Manc Cave Twitter (Follow us Here) asking Rochdale fans where they now feel the team will end up come the end of the season.

6% felt the side would still be relegated, 24% thought they could crack on and reach dizzy mid-table heights. However, 70% of fans think the team will just about stay up – I’m sure they won’t want a repeat of last season’s nail biter.

Rochdale, should they stay up this season, could push forward next season under a young and ambitious manager. The results in recent weeks have been a positive step, forward after a largely frustrating campaign up until that point.

BBM can get a tune out of this group of players, with a decent turnover of players in the summer and a full pre-season implementing his style of play. It could certainly make for an exciting 2019/2020 season for the Spotland outfit.

Dale fans, where do you think you could end up next season under Brian Barry-Murphy, lets us know in the comments…


Heartbreak for Stockport County, Rochdale’s Survival Chances and it’s Too Early to Hand Out Awards!

This is the EFL and Below Show, your weekly look at all of the footballing action in Greater Manchester from outside of the Premier League.

Niall McCaughan from the Manchester Football Social is joined in the studio by Ian Foran and Aaron Benson from the Football Manc Cave.

Stockport County were within minutes of a Wembley final in the FA Trophy but came agonisingly short in a tense affair at Edgeley Park – County commentator Chris Ridgway joins us to chat Stockport’s season so far.

Rochdale picked up a valuable 3 points at the weekend and are still in with a great shout of staying in League One for another season – and the lads fume of the premature awarding of ‘Manager of the Season’ accolades!

ITUNES – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/manchester-football-social-efl-and-below-show/id1449475076?mt=2&i=1000433673276

ACAST – https://play.acast.com/s/eflandbelowshow/manchesterfootballsocial-eflandbelowshow-heartbreakforstockportcounty-rochdalessurvivalchancesanditstooearlytohandoutawards-

Rochdale are in a 12 team Relegation Scrap, Playing This Midfield Duo Today COULD Edge Them Closer to Safety

Much has been made this week about the possibility of a 12-team relegation battle taking place in League One this season, as only 9 points separate bottom to 12th. Remarkably only 3 points separate 21st to 12th.

Rochdale have another great opportunity to take a big potential step closer to safety, when they take on Scunthorpe at Spotland today. They should be well rested after last weeks postponed game against Accrington and, according to caretaker manager Brian Barry-Murphy, only long term absentees; Josh Lillis, Rekeil Pyke & Zach Clough are missing for the match.

I believe these two players starting the game against Scunthorpe are crucial to coming away with all three points.

13. Jimmy Keohane.

Rochdale fans haven’t had much chance to see him in action since his signing. His only appearance this season coming in Dales last fixture against Oxford United. He was brought on following an injury to Ryan McLaughlin and although, not primarily a right back he looked an interesting proposition in that role.

When Keohane signed in February this year on a free transfer, former manager Keith Hill and current caretaker manager Brian Barry-Murphy spoke well of him, and expectations were high but for whatever reason, he was never given a place in his starting 11.

Many supporters at Spotland (Crown Oil Arena) were pleased to see his inclusion against Oxford, as it was seen to be Brian Barry-Murphy trying something different, which has been much needed recently, to instil a glimmer of hope for the Rochdale faithful.

14. Oliver Rathbone.

Oli’s commitment, unwavering stamina and energy has been missed at Spotland since his injury, and his return has been a contributory factor in Dale taking four points from the last two home games. His return to fitness from injury is a very welcome boost to the survival efforts, and he is perhaps a bit of an unsung hero.

Since Andy Cannon’s departure to Portsmouth in the January transfer window. Oli has been able to take over a central midfield position and hopefully, his determination will be a major part in Rochdale’s bid for League One survival.

Goalkeeper Andy Lonergan’s emergency loan has been extended by another week which is a vital move, considering his form of late. There has also been no update on the managerial position permanently and, with each day that passes by with no change you have to think BBM is strengthening his position for the role permanently.

A New Era at the Crown Oil Arena

Keith Hill’s departure was confirmed on Monday morning and also his assistant Chris Beech. Beech was Hill’s current assistant manager but had been at the Club for 12-years, starting out as Youth Team Manager, before transitioning to the first team. He was described as “the catalyst, along with Hill, behind the success of the Academy as we now know it.”

It is difficult saying goodbye to the most successful manager in the clubs history, but many fans wouldn’t have believed it would end like this.

Results had deteriorated so rapidly since Christmas the club felt they had to act despite issuing the dreaded “vote of confidence” a couple of days before the game. I find the timing to be quite strange. A loss against Luton, the league leaders, who themselves are unbeaten in 22 games and haven’t lost at home in a year managed to seemingly change “all believe in Keith, his backroom staff and players, and they have our full confidence and continued backing.” To “a new direction is needed”.

In my opinion the board has panicked and in desperation to secure Rochdale’s League One status have made the decision a growing section of the fan base have been calling for. However, there is often no room for sentiment in football and, a new managerial appointment can often be one of the more exciting times of supporting a club with the uncertainty of who will be appointed and the impact they may have.

I previously wrote an article outlining who I would be looking at if this situation arose so I wont go into too much detail but Paul Hurst is still very much a man I would want the board to speak to. The bookmakers seem to believe current Barrow manager Ian Evatt is the favourite for the job. That’s not a direction I would personally go in, but there may yet be more twists and turns before a final decision is made.

At the time of writing, first team coach, Brian Barry-Murphy has stepped up to the caretaker role, assisted by the current head of academy Tony Ellis.

Despite the decision being one I disagree with, I will continue to support Brian and Tony and all the lads and anyone who may be appointed in the future. Survival is still very much in our hands and who ever the board decide is the man or men to lead this club has my continued support in what will be a new era for the club.

Rochdale Fans Are Gutted Over Keith Hill

Yesterday after the news broke of Keith Hill’s sacking, our Twitter page polled the Rochdale fans to see their instant reaction to the departure.

59% of Dale fans said that they felt gutted, with the remaining 41% feeling happy. A lot has been made over Hill in recent months, with some of the old guard prepared to give him time after his accomplishments over his two spells with the club. A lot had seen worse times at the club and felt that the two promotions and cup runs, had given him till at least the end of the season.

However, the small minority of ‘Hill out’ had started to grow weekly with every fading performance. Some blame the players, some blame higher up in the club – but the thing that effects the club the most is the on-pitch results, and this year they just weren’t at the races.

The easy option is to always sack the manager, as it’s a lot less work than to overhaul a playing squad. Rochdale will be hoping for a new manager bounce to lift them up the League One table, especially with only 11 matches to go of this campaign.

We take a look at the Rochdale reaction from around Twitter…

Sad to see Keith Hill leave Rochdale again. He’s been a great manager for the club on 2 seperate occasions and wish him all the best for the future.#RAFC— MartianMoleInAHole (@in_martian) March 4, 2019

This is so sad!
I’ve always had an emotional attachment to Rochdale, impossible for me to think of this amazing club without Keith & beachy being a part of it!
Wishing them both the best of luck, & whoever has the pleasure to work with them next , you’ll have a top teamđź‘Ś#RAFC https://t.co/NHCRDKeh16— Tracey kennedy (@Traceygeorge83) March 4, 2019

Despite the results this season, there is no doubt in my mind that Hill has earned the right to try and rebuild in league 2 if we do go down. Our best ever manager and this seems a very short sighted decision— Jonny Holt (@JonnyHolt23) March 4, 2019

A very sad day for the Football Club.. when the ambitions of the ‘new’ board don’t meet that of the manager, only two outcomes… they part their ways and the club goes back to valuing success as survival.. Thanks Keith, enjoyed the ride!— Andrew Harrison (@ajhtraining) March 4, 2019

Keith Hill has worked miracles over the last few years. Should have been given until the end of the season at least. Sad times for all involved.— Oli Philip (@OliPhilip_) March 4, 2019

Best decade in the club’s history, maybe best decade it will ever had. No one can do a better job. Even if Dale are bottom of League 1 they’re overachieving. A terrible short-sighted decision that could be the end of the football club. Conference in four years, if we’re lucky.— Marlon Solomon (@supergutman) March 4, 2019

Keith Hill Sacked as Rochdale Manager!

News has broken within the hour of Keith Hill’s sacking from Rochdale after a poor run of results dropping Dale into the relegation zone in League One.

There was many vocal fans in recent months demanding Hill to be sacked as the results went on. However, we must state there were also a lot of fans feeling that Keith Hill should be given time, due to what he has achieved at the club over his two spells.

The statement from Rochdale’s Chairman Andrew Kilpatrick website reads…

Rochdale Football Club has terminated the contracts of Keith Hill and Chris Beech with immediate effect.

It has been the most difficult decision that the Board has had to make but it is felt that due to results on the pitch, that a new direction is needed. We believe the next five games against opposition in and around us represents a great opportunity to try and retain our League One status, which is why this action has been taken now.

Brian Barry Murphy and Tony Ellis will take training this week ahead of Saturday’s game against Shrewsbury Town.

As a duo, Hill and Beech have enjoyed huge successes with the Club, including most recently the promotion to League One in 2013/14, as well as securing three top 10 finishes in the division since then. The pair also had many FA Cup successes together, reaching at least the fourth round of the competition in four out of the last six seasons.

Hill has achieved two out of the three promotions in Rochdale’s history and is rightly regarded as the Club’s most successful manager. Beech had been at the Club for 12-years, starting out as Youth Team Manager, and was the catalyst, along with Hill, behind the success of the Academy as we now know it.

The Board would like to place on record their thanks to Keith and Chris for their exceptional services to the Club and wish them all the best for the future.

A further announcement will be made in due course…

Must Win March: Rochdale Can Not Afford To Drop Points In These 3 Matches

Rochdale’s 5-1 loss to Plymouth last weekend, coupled with other results, saw Dale drop into the bottom four.

So far Dale have collected only four points in nine league games in 2019.

This is alarming and is definitely relegation form, conceding 72 goals in League One so far this season, is always going to see any team struggle. In my opinion, the record amount of goals conceded this season is largely down to poor defensive mistake and frailties. Sadly, for the most part, the defence just isn’t strong enough for this league. However, they have scored 42, which is better than anyone else in the drop zone and Dale posses the league’s joint-third top scorer in Ian Henderson, but a goal difference of -30 flatters to deceive at this lowly level.

Next up is the daunting challenge of playing away at league leaders Luton. The task facing them is made harder by the fact Ethan-Ebanks Landell, who has arguably been Rochdale’s best defender since signing on loan from Wolves in January, is suspended after his red against Plymouth, for an indisputable handling incident.

There is light potentially at the end of the tunnel, as Rochdale’s other 5 league games in March are against sides in the bottom half of the table. Keith Hill will need to at least pick up 9 points in March in the aforementioned games.

Here are three of those games that I believe are the most ‘winnable’…

Rochdale vs Shrewsbury – 9th March

At the time of writing Shrewsbury have the worst away form in the league. With only 12 points from their 17 games away from home this season. A record which is actually worse than Rochdale’s home record. This represents a great chance for Dale to start to build a run of form.

Rochdale vs Oxford – 12th March

Oxford also visit Spotland just a few days later on Tuesday the 12th. The U’s have only won once away from home all season, with that win coming against Blackpool on Saturday. Dale will be hoping they are poor travellers once again when they make the long journey up from Oxfordshire on a cold Tuesday night.

Accrington vs Rochdale – 16th March

Their week is complete with a local trip to rivals Accrington. As the form table suggests, Rochdale have got their better results away from home this season.

The Wham stadium has been a place of comfort for Dale in recent years as they have won 4 of their last 5 visits.

If Rochdale can manage to take maximum points in these games it will give them a platform to build on in their survival bid.

This will be a make or break month for Rochdale, and maybe for Keith Hill himself.

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