Manager Keith Hill has been reflecting on Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Barnsley in his latest Dale Player interview.
Peter Ramage netted the only goal of the game after just 10 minutes, securing all three points for the visitors.
Speaking on Monday morning, Hill delivered an honest assessment of the match. He told Dale Player: “The early goal supported their tactics and it’s the first time we’ve come across a team who basically park the bus. I’m not too sure if that was out of respect or fear, or maybe neither and it just happened.
“I’m looking at Danny Wilson and his coaching staff - they’ve probably watched us and I believe they’ve come up with that formula, which was then supported by the early goal.
“The early goal is avoidable. We’ve analysed the game and there’s positional play that’s wrong from our players while we’re in possession which leads to the goal.
“Yes we did create chances, but when they went 1-0 up they defused the energy from the game and they tried to break the momentum, which they had every right to do - we did the exact same against Leyton Orient. Arguably I think they could have increased the lead on the counter attack because we left ourselves vulnerable in pursuit of trying to get at least an equaliser.
“We have to show a little bit of patience and we have to be a little less predictable in our passing against teams who sit so deep. We’ve got good technicians out there who can unlock doors but we aren’t the type of side who can break down the opposition by playing direct and predictable football, especially when you look at the back four of the opposition and the goalkeeper and how strong they are at defending deep and at counter attacking.
“I thought the early goal set the tone for them to engage even deeper into their game plan and I think they deserved the victory in the end, even although we did have one or two opportunities. I think if we had scored first it might well have opened the game up because they would have to have come out and I think we would have exploited more spaces.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to learn as a team because I’m not too sure whether teams are fearing us or respecting us and they might start employing different tactics.”
Conrad Logan saved his second penalty in as many games on Saturday as he kept out Conor Hourihane with a brilliant save, and Hill was full praise for the on loan ‘keeper.
“It was a fantastic save, it was a fantastic mentality and he’s a fantastic player.
“He is soon becoming a player’s favourite, as well as a fans’ favourite. He’s held in high regard in those changing rooms already, as well as by myself and the staff.
“I thought it was an excellent save. It was a ‘you’re not going to beat me save’. I think the save in the first half against Devante Cole is equally as important.”
The full interview will be available to view on Dale Player.