Manager Keith Hill has praised “every aspect” of Dale’s performance in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Southend United at the Crown Oil Arena.
Goals from Niall Cananvan, Calvin Andrew and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing earned Rochdale a well-deserved three points, as Dale extended their winning run to six games in all competitions.
“The game had everything you can ask for as a manager,” said Hill.
“There was a lot of discipline and we played well. I thought we controlled the pace of the game and we controlled the opposition when they started going long after bringing Nile Ranger on.
“I’m really pleased with every aspect of the game today - we kept a clean sheet and we scored three goals.
“We had some young players out there and I think they showed some really good discipline.”
16-year-old Aaron Morley, who made his debut in Tuesday night’s Checkatrade Trophy tie against Notts County, was handed his first league start for the club, playing 69 minutes in the victory.
Hill says he deserved his opportunity.
“Aaron is ready to play because of what he does on the training pitch. It’s not just me who selects him, the players respect him because of what he does on our training pitch.
“Now that’s he playing for the first team, the other players are embracing it and players like Calvin Andrew and Keith Keane will look after him.
“I’m not just playing him for the sake of it and the rest of the players are [questioning that]. They’re embracing it because it’s right for him to play.”
Calvin Andrew netted his third goal in four league games and was awarded Man of the Match for his performance. Hill has praised the impact he has both on and off the pitch.
“He’s in good goal scoring form playing as a wide striker. His goal today was absolutely superb.
“He’s a keen leader and he’s respected by everybody at the football club. The young lads, especially, lean on him when I’m giving them a telling off, and why not because he definitely sings my song.”
Dale have now won six on the bounce and are unbeaten eight, after a fantastic turnaround of form.
Hill says the win over Fleetwood Town on September 17th brought about the good run of form that his side are in.
“We knew we were making mistakes and we had become a little bit anxious, but oncee we got those three points on the board it was then about revisiting what we’ve always done, which was getting results. I’m really pleased with that.”
The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD.