Assistant Manager Chris Beech reflects on Dale’s 3-1 pre-season friendly win over Curzon Ashton…
“I’d like to thank Curzon Ashton for inviting us. We’ve played on a very good pitch today – the pitch is league standard,” Beech told Dale PlayerHD.
“Today was excellent for the players, especially for players like Joe Bunney who couldn’t come to Tenerife with us, because they got 90 minutes, and I’m pleased he got through it.
“I said to him before the game that we’d worked very hard in Tenerife, although he knows that because he has been before. You can’t beat playing, no matter how much training you do.”
He continued: “For 65-70 minutes I thought the game was very competitive and at a good pace. There was some quality football from us. I think the game became one paced after that, particularly in the last 20 minutes. That coincided with us conceding the goal, but we responded with a good goal from Mendez [Nathaniel Mendez-Laing] following some good interplay.
“The goals were very good and we played good football at a good pace. That was everything myself and Keith ask for from the players - to penetrate with good passes and obviously with finishes at the end, so I’m really pleased with the goals. I’m disappointed with the goal that we conceded but overall, I think it served its purpose.
“Overall, I’m very pleased.”
Disappointingly, Matty Lund was forced off in the first half after being caught late by a robust challenge.
“For a non-league team, they were professional. The thing that disappointed me was that the referee refereed it like a friendly. He didn’t stamp out the little misdemeanours, and if anything, that was the first incident of the game, and I suppose he couldn’t avoid that. The player himself, before and after that, didn’t play dirty and he didn’t play late. I don’t think he’s meant to do that, but ultimately, Matty has been left with a knock on his ankle and he has had to go and get accessed, which is very disappointing from a friendly prospect in preparing for the league.”
Ollie Rathbone and Peter Vincenti both travelled to the fixture at the Tameside Stadium but were not involved due injury.
Beech confirmed that Rathbone should return to training next week, while Vincenti (ankle) will be side-lined for a little longer.
“Ollie should be back training next week. He’s into his last phase of his rehab so the physio department will put him his through his paces for a period over a couple of hours, and if can get through that with no reaction then he’ll join in. The plan is for that to happen on Monday/ Tuesday.
“Peter will be out for a little bit longer but he’s on the same wave length. Peter has been doing really well and he’s got a spring in his step. We want him back on that training pitch.”
The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD.