Rochdale's preparations for the new season continued on Saturday with a with a 2-1 win over FC Halifax Town.
Manager Keith Hill gave his thoughts on the game to Dale Player and he is honest in his assessment. He said: “I think from a performance point of view it was a mis-management of time from our players and it is important that we brush up on that. We couldn’t envisage what tactics the opposition could have used and they decided to sit deep, were compact as unit, they allowed our back four to have the ball and to a certain degree we abused that time. That’s where the mis-management comes in.
“While spending too much time in negative possession you can get a little bit lapse with respect to concentration and we were borrowing time off other team mates who were in a better position. For example, when the goalkeeper has the ball we need to play through the units quicker because that doesn’t allow the opposition to get set, but we allowed that."
He continued: "It was a difficult and strange day because the temperatures were soaring, and the pitch and the ball were sticky. We want to play fast football and I don’t think we got the opportunity to do that. We weren’t very good in possession – there’s key components to the way we want to play and if we’re giving the ball away then we’re never going to be able to get going.
“The good thing about Saturday was that it was a 90 minute work-out for a lot of the players and the fact that we scored two goals out of nothing is encouraging. It also gave me a look at what opposition might do. It’s progress and gives me a thought process going into the Stalybridge game and Blackburn on Saturday.”
Rochdale travel to Bower Fold on Tuesday evening to face Conference North side Stalybridge Celtic and Hill is expecting his players to show 100% commitment.
“If you’re fit enough physically and you’re conditioned to meet the demands that I demand you have to be able to do it. There’s no reaction – we’re proactive, not reactive. We’ve got a squad of those players and it’s important that 100% of those players show 100% commitment, not 80% of the squad. That’s what we’re looking for over the next four games.”
You can listen to the full interview on Dale Player now.