Keith Hill reflects on his side’s Checkatrade Trophy tie with Stoke City Under21s at the Crown Oil Arena…
A dominant Dale had all of the possession in the second half and created all of the opportunities but couldn’t find a way past a stubborn Potters defence, meaning the game went straight to penalties, which the Potters won 5-4.
“The result is worth a point and it keeps us top of the league. It’s a mini-league, so that point is crucial,” said Hill.
“The penalty shoot-out can go either way but I’m expecting better from the players. It’s in excusable to not hit the target in a penalty shoot-out, so I’m disappointed with that.
“But I’m not disappointed with the patience that the players showed – we had enough opportunities to win the game and their ‘keeper has had an outstanding game.
“We didn’t relentlessly attack their goal – there was a mythology to it and there was a patience to it – and I feel as though that’s the best way of doing things. We were unfortunate not to get the goal in normal time.
“You can’t get frustrated - you’ve got to be patient and you’ve got to work it out, and you’ve got to make sure you don’t fall for the sucker punch or the counter-attack. We had good opportunities when we got in behind them and we got in behind them a lot in the second half, where I thought ‘yeah, we should do a little bit better here’, but we didn’t and their goalkeeper was superb. But that clinical finishing is what’s a little bit missing.
He continued: “It was my intention to play one or two other players but they withdrew through a few little niggles.
“But I thought M.J. Williams & Kgosi Ntlhe at centre-half were tremendous – they were absolutely superb. Daniel Adshead didn’t look out of place up against Charlie Adam and I’m happy to continue playing him in this trophy. He’ll play in the next game against Blackburn, which will be the next phase of his development.
“Overall, I’m reasonably happy with the performance and the point, because it keeps up top.”
The full interview is available to watch on iFollow.