Head of Academy Coaching, Rick Ashcroft, spoke to Dale PlayerHD after Wednesday evening’s FA Youth Cup tie against Altrincham FC.
Rochdale progressed to the second round of the competition with a 2-0 win thanks to Matthew Gillam’s brace.
Ashcroft is pleased that his side are through to the next round.
“The game was a potential banana skin but the lads have produced the result and elements of the performance that we want so it’s well done. There are areas that we need to improve on but we married a little bit of the performance levels with the result, which is the important thing.”
The teams went in level at the break after a dominant Dale were twice denied by the woodwork and were kept out by a string of excellent saves by the Altrincham goalkeeper.
Ashcroft admits that he would have liked to seen the side make more of their opportunities but says Daniel Havern deserves some of the plaudits for his first half performance.
“You’ve got to pat him on the back for that. He was in the right place at the right time for a goalkeeper, so you’ve got to give him his credit. However, you’re expecting us to capitalise on some of them chances in the areas that we got into, but at the same time you’ve got to pat him on the back because he has done his job.”
Rochdale stuck to task and Gillam netted twice in the second half to ensure progression in the competition. Ashcroft is pleased with the character shown by the players.
“It was a little bit about patience tonight. There’s the occasion and there was a little bit of nervousness around the lads. It was excited nerves and you could see that in them before the game. We let them know that everything was alright at half time and they’ve gone on and won the game, so that was pleasing. We just want more of certain elements because the challenges ahead are greater – we’re always pushing on.”
A second round tie against Notts County at Meadow Lane awaits for Dale, a fixture Ashcroft is looking forward to.
“It’ll be a good occasion, with the game played on good pitch and at a good ground, so it’s something that we’ll look forward to. We’re hoping that we can put a good performance together with the result to see us through [to the next round]. It’ll be a tough, tough task as we know.”
The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD.