Manager John Coleman has been reflecting on pre-season, Tuesday night’s 3-1 win over Burnley, and ahead to Saturday’s Capital One Cup encounter against Barnsley at Spotland.
“We’ve had our ups and downs in pre-season,” said Coleman. “But on Tuesday night it was nice to get amongst the goals. Players tend to respond to success because if they see the rewards of what we are trying to get them to achieve, then they’re also more likely to believe in what they are doing.
“We’ve worked hard in training, worked on developing a system that we want to play, and the players have put in a lot of effort. When you put a lot of effort in and you start to see what it brings, it makes the players more determined to carry on with that effort and it is obviously working.”
Dale head into Saturday’s encounter against Barnsley on the back of Tuesday night’s 3-1 win over Burnley. Following the impressive display, Coleman says the players have now set themselves a standard: “The players have raised the bar themselves and that’s what they’ve got to strive to achieve. You’re not going to play well every week, but what you’ve got to try and do is get a level of consistency and you’ve got to have a certain standard of hard work and that should never ever fall below, no matter if you’re playing well, indifferent or poorly, the work rate should always be the same.”
Rochdale have already come up against three Championship sides during the pre-season programme, winning two out of the three fixtures against Blackburn and Burnley respectively. And although Coleman says we shouldn’t read too much into pre-season games, the players have taken confidence from that:
“We’re going in there (Saturday's match) with confidence, the players are confident and they are comfortable with each other. A certain amount of that confidence was born in Austria when we were going through how we wanted to play. You can’t really gauge too much into pre-season games because you don’t know what the opposition are trying to achieve from the game, but we’ve got a style of football that we want to play and hopefully we’ll deliver that and we’ll be successful.”
He continued: “Every time I’ve crossed swords with Keith and Flickers they have always been a difficult games, they have always been hard fought games. Both of them (Keith Hill and David Flitcroft) have earned the right to have a good reception when they come back – they did really well for Rochdale and they should be rewarded for that. But we certainly won’t be making their return visit anywhere near comfortable, we’ll be making it as hard as possible.”
The full interview with John is available on Dale Player now.