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Keith Hill's Post Match Reaction - Southend United

31 October 2015

Manager Keith Hill spoke to Dale PlayerHD after Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Southend United.

Rochdale came from two goals down to secure a well-deserved point at Roots Hall. 

Dale were trailing 2-0 at half-time after David Mooney opened the scoring from the penalty spot on 38 minutes, while Ryan Leonard doubled the hosts’ lead just minutes later.

But after relentless pressure from Dale mid-way through the second half, Joe Bunney pulled a goal back for Dale on 63 minutes, while Michael Rose hit the back of the net with a sublime free-kick on 78 minutes.

“We shot ourselves in the foot at times during the first half and I thought we were awful at times,” said Hill.

“We started quite brightly but I wasn’t getting what we had seen all week, or what we had prepared and planned to do from the players.

“As a manager sometimes you have to sit back and suck it in and I was really disappointed. I’m not too best pleased.

“A game that had everything? I’d say it had 45 minutes in the second half that represented us and the supporters who travelled down from Greater Manchester, but that’s about it.”

Hill made three substitutions at the break as he introduced Calvin Andrew, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Rose into the action in place of Jamie Allen, Tom Kennedy and Peter Vincenti.

The changes proved to be a master-stoke, with Dale netting twice to level the scoring during an entertaining second half.

“They were not attack minded substitutions. The players we had on the pitch were attack minded. There’s enough attacking intent there with two positive full-backs for us to score and create opportunities. 

“The fact of the matter is that they’re not doing what they’re good at and they’re not doing what they’re asked to do on a regular basis – that’s why I made the changes. Attack minded players – everybody should be attack minded when we’ve got the ball, but everybody should be a defence minded player when the opposition has got the ball and we’re not on point at this moment in time. Certain players have been given too many chances to repeat perform what they did last season and we’re seriously being let down now as a squad, as a player, as a football club and as a supporter who travels and spends lots of money. Our identity in certain areas of the pitch isn’t great.”

Goal scorer Rose hadn’t been involved in a Dale matchday squad since last month’s league fixture at Millwall but the Gaffer says he earned his place in Saturday’s squad.

“We needed to make the changes and Michael Rose needed to come onto the pitch. He has been absent in recent weeks and that’s because of me. He has trained magnificently but I have given my trust to the other players to take Michael Rose’s position within the team and I don’t think they’ve taken it.

“Michael Rose is still there and he still wants to play. He still wants to play for us and he still wants to play for me and I think he has put a marker down today.

“He has been disappointed that he hasn’t been involved and he has been asking me the questions often enough, but he has come back with a vengeance today. We played at Burnley on Tuesday behind closed doors where he was outstanding and he had to be on the bench today. He has given himself the opportunity of playing.”

The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD. 

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