Rochdale played two games on Tuesday, taking on Championship side Huddersfield Town in a behind-closed-doors friendly in the afternoon before making the trip to AFC Fylde in the evening.
The Terriers were 2-0 winners, while Dale were 2-1 victors over the Coasters.
The full first team squad were involved in the two matches, with the players featuring in both fixtures, as Manager Keith Hill explains.
“They played 45 minutes in each game, so most players have completed 90 minutes today,” said Hill.
“It’s pre-season and the results don’t matter, however our intentions on what we’re trying to achieve do matter, and I think the whole day has been successful.
“Pre-season is really just preparation work and it has been good [today] but there’s a lot still to do.”
He continued: “We’ve played against a Championship side today and obviously AFC Fylde and it’s about getting the balance somewhere in between because we’re a League One side. It’s important that we become more disciplined than we’ve shown as a unit. I look at the squad and the players that we’ve got, and if everyone’s fit then I’ve got a great 14 or 15.
“But I think this season we definitely need a squad of 20 outfield players - I think we’re quite a way off it. And when I look at some of the signings that are being made and some of the trialists that are at other clubs then the test is getting more and more difficult.
“I don’t know whether or not we’re going to be able to do good business in the loan market – it depends on where we are in the food chain, but it is what it is and I believe that we’ve got a solid enough 14/15.
“There are younger players who aren’t ready and I don’t want to have to rely on them. The fact of the matter is, we’ve put two sides out tonight but realistically there were probably only 14 starters in there.”
In addition to Marucs Holness, Nathan Eccleston and Theo Robinson also featured for Dale in Tuesday’s friendlies. The pair, along with Holness, have been at the club for the last fortnight and made the pre-season trip to Tenerife with the squad.
Hill shared his thoughts on the trialist duo.
“They’ve got to do it the way that I want them to do it and they’ve got to be fit enough to do it the way that I want them to it.
“They’ve both got footballing intelligence, it’s just a question of whether I can convert them. They’ve got good pedigree and I always look for that, but it’s just whether or not they’re going to converge that into the all in rather than sitting on the fence sometimes.
“Sometimes they do it and sometimes they don’t with the intensity that I expect. It’s a difficult situation but I’ve got to see if players are willing to do it, and if they are, then they’ve got a future with us.”
The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD.