Old Trafford should have staged L2 final - Hill

May 24, 2008

Rochdale boss Keith Hill believes it would have made 'common sense' for his side's League Two play-off final against local rivals Stockport to have been played at Old Trafford.

Dale head to Wembley on Monday after holding their nerve to beat Darlington 5-4 on penalties in the semi-finals following a 3-3 draw on aggregate.

Over 15,000 Rochdale fans are expected to make the trip south while opponents Stockport are set to take a similar amount to north London.

However, Rochdale is 20 miles from Old Trafford while Stockport is only 10 and Hill would have liked to have seen the game played at the Theatre of Dreams.

'If I'm being totally focused on business I'd prefer the game to be played at Old Trafford and that's from me being a ruthless business person,' said Hill.

'We're going to Wembley and I'd be willing to sacrifice going to Wembley to play at Old Trafford for this occasion because it would be common sense.

'It would be better for locality. There'd be more fans there, it would be best suited from a business point of view for Stockport and ourselves.'

From a football point of view, though, Hill admits the trip to Wembley may be the pinnacle of his and his players' careers.

'My personal ambitions and dreams are to lead the team out at Wembley and it might not ever get any better than that,' he added.

'Our dream as a collective is to represent Rochdale as a football club at Wembley and we'll all be able to do that. But if I was in a business world it would be Old Trafford.'

Hill took over at Spotland with assistant manager Dave Flitcroft in December 2006 and their young side now stands on the brink of promotion to League One.

With the glamour of a clash at Wembley ahead of them, Hill insists it is important his players keep their feet on the ground.

'We did want to visit Wembley but that's been ruled out by the Football League because they're doing a tidying up operation,' said Hill.

'We'll just get to the game early on Monday and take in the stadium. There is a wow factor to it so it's important we get there early so they can get that out of their system.

'It's just another game, our last game of the season. The lads know it's a cup final and a winner-take-all situation. We're going to Wembley, we're playing in a final. We know that and so do Stockport.

'It brings its own pressure but we try to take that away from the players as much as we can. Once the the whistle goes it's up to the players.

'They have 100% belief in what they're doing. They're ready now and the lads are focused on what we want to achieve.'