Words by Gary Carter
KEITH Hill believes his grandmother could guide Sunderland to the League One title this season!
The Rochdale chief finds himself at the other end of the third tier food chain from the Black Cats, scrapping for survival on a comparative shoestring budget.
Dale have started poorly, with Hill even saying fans wanting him sacked should contact chairman Chris Dunphy direct.
But he is in no doubt about the job Jack Ross has on his hands in the north-east, with the size of Sunderland definitely helping.
He said: “No disrespect to Jack but my grandma could manage Sunderland to the championship this season.
“Just look at the squad they’ve got. Regardless of whether there’s chaos in the fabric of the club, the players they have will win the league and will get promoted by a country mile.
“We’re stronger because of our recruitment and we’ll spend more over the course of the season, which should give us our main priority, League One status.
“But it’s difficult to catch up with football’s speed or stay level with it. League One is becoming really strong now as clubs who can spend big, big money are getting promoted and relegated.”
Four points from five games sees Rochdale 19th in the League One table and rumblings of discotent are echoing around Spotland.
But Hill is adamant that this year’s squad is far better than the one whose company he did not enjoy, which stayed up on the last day last term.
He added: “I didn’t enjoy the company of the squad last season. I’ve always had a group of players that reflected what I wanted and last season it was unrecognisable to what I wanted.
“We didn’t start as a group, we came together as a group. Last year they weren’t individuals, they just didn’t want to work.
“Last season, you’d have one player’s training stats sky high and another way low. Now they’re all a similar level, that’s far better.
“Now I go home pretty satisfied every day, it’s going to be an easier 12 months for my wife and family. It doesn’t mean it’s going to be brilliant, I’m just saying we’re all on the same page.”