Rochdale: Keith Hill says FA Cup run can help with league form

Rochdale players celebrate

Rochdale manager Keith Hill says their FA Cup run can boost their chances of winning promotion from League Two.

Dale lie fifth in the division, just one point off an automatic promotion spot, and shocked Championship side Leeds United to reach the fourth round of the Cup on Saturday.

"A good cup run can enthuse and reenergise players," Hill told BBC Radio Manchester.

"We have to give ourselves a chance of being successful in the competition."

Rochdale reached the FA Cup fourth round for the first time in 11 years after goals from Scott Hogan and Ian Henderson helped them to victory over opponents two divisions above themselves.

An impressive 12 wins from 24 games in the league this season has allowed the Spotland outfit to compete for promotion, leaving them just four points behind leaders Scunthorpe.

While Premier League managers Paul Lambert and Sam Allardyce have said the league is the main concern, Hill insists the cup can help with momentum, whose side travel to Hartlepool on Saturday.

"I think if you treat the FA Cup with disrespect it can actually affect your opportunities in the league that you are playing in," he said.

"I can understand managers seeing their league as a priority, but don't underestimate the value of the cup and what a run can have on league performance and position.

"Sometimes it can be a positive reaction and that may be something missing from Premier League managers on their summary [of the competition]."

Hill described the win over Brian McDermott's men as "unbelievable" and says the money the club can gain is a bonus, as he waits to see whether they face Macclesfield or Sheffield Wednesday next.

"It is not just about the finances, it is about the players," he added. "It was a day in my life that will never be forgotten, never mind the players. They have had so many positive responses and they fully deserve that."

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