Rochdale v Tottenham: Keith Hill says criticism of pitch was 'low blow'

FA Cup fifth round: Rochdale v Tottenham Hotspur
Venue: Crown Oil Arena Date: Sunday, 18 February Kick-off: 16:00 GMT
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One & the BBC Sport app from 15:35 GMT, live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sport and follow text updates on the BBC Sport website.

Rochdale’s relaid pitch will be “as perfect as it possibly can be” for Tottenham’s FA Cup fifth-round visit on Sunday, says Dale manager Keith Hill.

The League One side beat Millwall last week on a muddy, heavily sanded surface at the Crown Oil Arena to set up the tie with Premier League Spurs.

Hill’s Tottenham counterpart Mauricio Pochettino had said Rochdale’s pitch was “a massive risk to players”.

“I’m assured the pitch is going to be good,” Hill told BBC Sport.

Rochdale, in the fifth round for just the third time in their history, started work on relaying the surface at the weekend.

Speaking about last week’s controversy, Hill added: “It just seems to me it was an easy punch to hit us with.

“It was a bit of a low blow because a lot of work went into preparing the pitch and making sure it was playable.

“The pitch wasn’t a risk. There was no injury risk or injury concern to the players on the night.

“With respect to Pochettino, he’s got a right to comment on the pictures that were presented to him.

“But we are making sure that the playing surface is as perfect as it possibly can be.”

Rochdale v Tottenham: Keith Hill says criticism of pitch was 'low blow'

Hill hopes his players will be able to train on the new surface before facing Tottenham.

“We want to play a certain type of football and we want to be seen in a good light,” said Hill.

“We want the football world to know we are not just a small club and we do the right things.”