David Syers, who joined Dale in January, made his Rochdale debut on Saturday, completing 85 minutes against Burton Albion.
After being limited to just three substitute appearances at his former club, Scunthorpe United, this season, it was his first start of the 2015-16 campaign.
“I got a bit further than I expected, actually,” smiled Syers as he spoke to Dale PlayerHD after the match.
“I didn’t think we were so far along when the number went up.
“It has been a long time since I played regular football so to feel the way I feel after that is great. It’s great to feel strong for it and a lot of that has to do with the way the lads train.
“They train hard so it has only taken a couple of weeks for me to go from not being match fit to being able to complete 85 minutes in a successful team, which is the aim.
“From my point of view now it’s about kicking on. It’s a 20 game season for the club but it’s also a 20 game season for me to show the club and everyone what I can do.”
Rochdale were in control for the most part of Saturday’s 2-1 win over league leaders Burton Albion, something which Syers is pleased with.
“It’s a great result and for about the first 70 minutes it was a superb performance.
“I think we were fully in control of the game in that period and it was a question of whether we’d get another.
“But it’s how football works. It [the Brewers’ goal] is a long ball and we’ve not dealt with it. We put ourselves under a bit of pressure, but all in all, especially after coming in on the back of the disappointment of
last week, and against the top of the league, it’s a superb result.”
Syers was also impressed with the application of his fellow midfield players.
“I think you can see that the changes the Gaffer made [from last weekend] were in order to make sure that we were very solid and in control of that area, and I think you could see that it worked very well.
“With Lundy and Campsy, Jamie coming inside in the pocket, and myself and Hendo, I think it really gave them problems in there and we had control of the game.
“We weren’t getting countered, they were the ones who were having to change formation or having a go at each other, and until their goal the performance was almost faultless.”
And Syers echoed Manager Keith Hill’s thoughts about the importance of consistency between now and the end of the season.
“I think that’s why you’ve got Burton at the top of the league.
“They’re not the flashiest team in the league but they’re consistent - that is the key ingredient at this level. In order to be successful [you’ve got to] grind out results week, in week out and keep picking up points.
“Every team can beat everyone at this level but it’s about who can keep putting those results together, even when they’re not playing well. And that’s what we need to make sure, especially in a run of games where you’ve got 20 games in 14 weeks.
“We’re going to have Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday and we’re going to have the whole squad coming in.
“We’re not going to play well every game but it’s about picking up points in the games where we’re not at our best and making the most of when we are playing well.”
The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD.