FA Cup: Rochdale 'must be like Premier League side' against Spurs at Wembley

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FA Cup highlights: Rochdale v Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup fifth round
FA Cup fifth-round replay
Venue: Wembley Stadium Date: Wednesday 28 February 2018 Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Coverage: BBC Radio 5 live (build-up from 19:00) 22:00-23:15 FA Cup highlights, BBC Red Button and online.

Rochdale manager Keith Hill says his team must act "like a Premier League side" in their FA Cup fifth-round replay against Tottenham at Wembley.

The League One club scored in added time to draw 2-2 with Mauricio Pochettino's side earlier this month.

Rochdale are bottom of the third tier, while Spurs are fourth in the Premier League - 63 places higher.

"We will relish playing on the best surface in England. We're trying to emulate teams like Spurs," said Hill.

"The lads have to treat it to a certain degree like we're a Premier League side playing against Tottenham. We're going to have to be brave, take our opportunities and have a little bit of luck."

Hill wants his team, who play at the 10,000-capacity Crown Oil Arena, not to be overwhelmed by the 90,000-seat national stadium, where Tottenham are playing their home games this season.

Rochdale, who lost 1-0 at Wigan on Saturday, must stop a side who are unbeaten in their past five Premier League games.

Hill says the important thing is to avoid "mentally fatiguing" his players in the build-up.

"I want them relaxed up until that team sheet is out," he said. "But once the team sheets go in we have to lose the childish inhibitions Wembley can bring.

"If the changing rooms are three sizes bigger than ours and with a cooler system, then enjoy it. I wouldn't want to take away their excitement and for that to turn into fear.

"We have to take away the enormity of the task and just focus on a game of football. You've got to start in the same way as if it was MK Dons or our next game, which is Plymouth."

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Hill's record signing was striker Chris O'Grady, whom he bought for £75,000 during his first spell as manager at Rochdale in 2010.

But he has a reputation in helping young, untested players thrive and gave England defender John Stones his senior debut while managing Barnsley. The centre-back joined Manchester City from Everton for £47.5m in 2016.

This season, Hill made schoolboy Daniel Adshead Rochdale's youngest ever debutant - aged 16 years and 17 days - in the EFL Trophy meeting with Bury in September. The teenager was then on the bench in the first FA Cup game against Tottenham.

"We can't afford to recruit the finished article," he said. "Instead, I look for underperforming players or those who seem to have initially failed to develop elsewhere. If I see something in them, I give them a chance.

"They have to agree to my values of respect and hard work. That goes for the older lads and the young ones who haven't had chances elsewhere."

A prime example of that was Portuguese striker Ricardo Vaz Te, who Hill was warned off but signed anyway while at Barnsley in 2011.

He thrived, went on to sign for West Ham and scored the goal that won the Hammers promotion back to the Premier League in 2012.

'Kane would be same at Rochdale as at Spurs'

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Hill might be plotting to thwart him on Wednesday, but he is a huge admirer of Tottenham's 35-goal striker Harry Kane.

Kane scored the 88th-minute penalty on 18 February that looked to be sending Rochdale out of the cup until Steve Davies' dramatic injury-time equaliser.

"I love him to bits," he said. "He's a player any manager would want to work with. I respect really how human he is in a world that could have got the better of him.

"I don't think it would bother him if he was playing in League One for Rochdale or Spurs - he'd have the same energy and honesty. He loves the game and that is special.

"To stop him? I don't think you can. You have to stop the players around him but then you're talking about Eriksen, Delle Alli, Son and Moura. It could be a thankless task."

Hill hopes Wednesday's replay will be a game his players can be proud of for the rest of their careers.

"These Tottenham players will be representing their countries in the World Cup and in the summer you might be sitting in front of the telly with your mates or your family and you can say, 'I played against them last season'," he said.

"This is an opportunity and sign of things to come for my younger lads and one of the last opportunities like this for some of the older ones."

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