Rochdale progressed to the second round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy on Tuesday evening with a 3-0 win over Crewe Alexandra, but Manager Keith Hill insists there was nothing easy about the win.
Speaking after the game, he told Dale Player: “The task is enormous to come here and I couldn’t say anything about today was easy.
“I love Crewe and what they’re trying to do, and I think what they’re trying to achieve, both on and off the field, is brilliant.
“If you’re going to dissect the game we could have been playing against a Crewe side who had [Ashley] Westwood in there, [Luke] Murphy in there and [Nick] Powell, but as a result of the production line they’re not, and Crewe are probably suffering as a result of that.
"With respect to what we’re doing, we’re trying to emulate what they’re doing and what they’ve done.”
He continued: “I thought we were ok tonight, at best. The demands of the game are harsh, the demands that I put on the players are harsh, but that’s the reality of professional football.
"I think we started really brightly and going into the latter stages of the first half they were looking the better side and, for me, the goal came against the run of play.
“It’s hard to judge where we’re actually at. We’re still developing and results like this will help, but they can also hide, so we don’t really know where we are yet. On 23 games I think we’ll know where we
“However, we’re through to the next round, we’ve made a few changes and we got the result so I’m pleased about that, but there are certain aspects that I’ll continue to ask for and continue to demand and if they’re not matched then the players won’t play.”