Manager Keith Hill reflects on Dale’s Checkatrade Trophy group stage tie v Sunderland…
Rochdale beat Sunderland 4-2 on penalties in their first game in Group F, after playing out a 1-1 draw in 90 minutes.
Dale created the majority of chances in the first half, with Peter Vincenti coming close with a number of headers.
The visitors took the lead early in the second half thanks to a well taken goal from Elliot Embleton, but Ian Henderson’s touch from Jamie Allen’s free-kick six minutes later soon levelled matters.
Henderson struck the post as Dale looked for the winner, with Allen’s rebound ruled out for offside meaning the game went to penalties to see who would claim the extra point on offer.
Two missed penalties from the visitors gave Sanmi Odelusi the chance to seal it for Dale, which he did to give Dale a 4-2 win on penalties.
“It’s about making sure that we play to our strengths,” Hill told Dale PlayerHD.
“It’s a really difficult opponent because we don’t know how they play, or who is playing.
“Our identity is that we play fast, quick football and the games we’ve played in have been a little bit short of that. I understand why we’re narrowly losing games, so we’ve got to address that.
“But I thought the players were very good in the second half. We probably shouldn’t have needed a penalty shoot-out.
“It was a fair work-out and I’ve given a work-out to the players that I really needed to like Peter Vincenti, Joe Bunney, Callum Camps, Scott Tanser and Josh Lillis.
"I was really pleased because we’re in a predicament at the minute. No matter what team I pick we seem to be losing games. At Rochdale over seven seasons, I’ve generally worked it out when we’ve been losing. Not only that, the players who have been selected have also worked out, so it’s important we stay united as a team.
“I think the supporters who came tonight quite enjoyed it. It thought there was a super atmosphere –I think they saw and appreciated what was on display.”
The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD.