Manager Keith Hill looks ahead to Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup first round tie v Mansfield Town at the One Call Stadium…
“We want to do well in every competition that we play in and you want to start the season well.
“You want to start the season by winning games, because everything else gets lost in the wash and hidden behind the result.
“I was reasonably pleased with the performance on Saturday against Portsmouth but we’ve got to try and take that performance and turn it into a winning one on Tuesday at Mansfield.
“I expect Mansfield to be in the League Two promotion shake-up. Steven Evans [Stags Manager] is very, very successful in gaining promotion with teams and he’s gone to Mansfield with the ambition of getting them promoted. You look at their recruitment and it has been very good, and they’ve started the season reasonably well.”
Reflecting on the performance of his players during Dale’s opening day defeat to Portsmouth, Hill says there are plenty of positives he can take into the midweek encounter against the Stags.
“We’ll never know how the game would have ended up if we’d had a full compliment of players, but I’m encouraged by the stats and the evaluation of the game up until Keith Keane got sent off.
“I didn’t have to be a touchline manager on Saturday, because I was very comfortable and the players were accepting responsibility. We’d done a lot of preparation on Portsmouth, we knew what we needed to do and we were doing it well and I felt nothing but confident.
“Before the game, the atmosphere was outstanding and incredible, but I thought we silenced the Portsmouth supporters, and then we shot ourselves in the foot. It’s not the first time we’ve done that and this is a part of the weakness of the squad that we’ve got to improve on. That’s very important because in eight previous games where we’ve had a sending-off, we’ve picked up two points.
“We were in a very strong position on Saturday [before the sending off] and that’s the one disappointment from the match, but there’s plenty of encouragement to take from it as we move forward into the our next games.”
Watch the full interview on iFollow.