Manager Keith Hill reflects on his side’s 2-0 pre-season friendly defeat to Championship side Barnsley…
“I’m pleased with the performance, especially the first half, and up until them scoring. I think we looked good in attack, without converting any opportunities, so we’ll have to brush up on that,” he told iFollow.
“After they scored – you can’t go to DIY football – there’s got to be a discipline to it, both in and out of possession. And what happens then, from certain players, is once they go to DIY football, it represents opportunities for the opposition.
“There’s got to be a certain amount of energy and urgency to try and get something from the game, but we don’t have to go all in to do that. We’re still at the poker table playing – we’re still in the game until our chips are gone. But there’s too many who throw all their chips in and want to gamble, and I don’t gamble.
“I make calculated decisions whether I’m playing cards, buying a car, buying a house, and I want the players to reflect that. When Barnsley went 1-0 up, there’s too many players who went all in. I don’t expect my players to go all in like that.
“Before that I was really pleased with what I saw. The lads are obviously still getting their match legs. Nothing has been decided yet with respect to starting positions, but I want a team that presses, so I’ve got to have players who press.”
And Hill confirmed that Joe Rafferty has been forced to sit out of Dale's last two pre-season fixtures, Middlesbrough and Barnsley, due to illness.
“Joe was supposed to play on Saturday but he phoned in sick on Friday, and he would have played some part tonight [Tuesday]. I don’t know how close or how far away he’ll be with respect to being fit for Portsmouth, but he hasn’t really got any minutes under his belt.”
You can watch the full six-minute interview on iFollow.