Manager Keith Hill reflects on his side’s 3-2 win over Millwall at the Den…
Callum Camps gave Rochdale an early lead, before Aiden O’Brien levelled almost straight from kick-off. O’Brien then went down under a challenge inside the area, with Lee Gregory stepping up to put the home side ahead.
Andrew equalised with a powerful header midway through the second half, before Ben Thompson was dismissed for a second yellow card for the home side.
Steven Davies was fouled inside the area in injury time, and Henderson stepped up to grab a memorable three points for Dale.
He said: “I’m glad we got three points. That’s three league games without defeat, four in all competitions, if you count the Sunderland game, so we’ve got a little bit of momentum, but we’ve got one or two scar tissues hanging around with respect to the mistakes that we’re making. For us to conceded two and win a game at Millwall, then we’ve got to give a lot of credit to the players’ appetite, ability and never say die attitude. That's superb but we need a little bit more than that."
He continued: “We know that they’re a very dangerous side and with the two strikers that they have on the pitch and the way that they play, they’re really, really difficult to play against,” said Hill.
“I was happy with the way we started and the goal we scored was superb but it was always going to be a central defender’s game today and it was going down- hill sour for us once the equalised. They kept getting in behind and in between our two central defenders, so I had to make the change [in substituting Harrison McGahey before half-time]."
Joe Bunney was again a stand-out performer in his new full-back role, and Hill was full of praise for him.
“He’s a good player. He finds it easier looking at the bigger picture and receiving the ball whilst looking at the opposition’s goal. I think he’ll be a very good striker when he grows into his body but he’s far happier receiving the ball when he’s facing the opposition’s goal, rather than doing what Millwall’s Morrison did today, and at this moment in time he’s doing an unbelievable job at left back. I’ve told him to go and play as a striker at left back and he’s doing it exceptionally well.”
And Hill spoke of the importance of the experience that the likes of Steven Davies, Keith Keane and Calvin Andrew bring to the side.
“I’ve got to pick teams that I feel as though best represent us to challenge any opposition, whether that’s the first 20 minutes, middle, third or last twenty minutes. It’s really, really important.
“I personally don’t think Stevo [Steven Davies] is up to the task of 90 minutes. He’ll argue, but he’s nowhere near as fit as I expect him to be. But, what a talent and what a brain! You had him, Keano, Calvin Andrew, Ian Henderson and Sanmi Odelusi on the pitch at the end. You also had Callum Camps and Matty Lund showing some maturity while playing as a four. At this moment in time we’re between a rock and a hard place as a football club, individually and collectively as a talented group. Everybody thinks we should be up at the top but it’s very unrealistic to suggest we can do that like we did last season and the season before because time catches up with you – that’s why I’ve lost my hair! We’re trying to overachieve again and we’ve got to make sure everybody understands that – it’s all back to basics.”
The full interview is on the club’s YouTube channel.