Manager Keith Hill has been quick to praise his entire squad this week, following Rochdale’s opening day win over Burton Albion.
Dale were 2-1 winners over the Brewers at the Pirelli Stadium, securing the first three points and away win of the season.
“We’ve won away from home on the first game of the season, and it was on our 30th game last season when got our first away win, so there are a lot of positives.
“The performance of the eleven starters has been backed up throughout the course of pre-season by the players who didn’t start because they’ve been pushing, rivalling, matching and being competitive for that starting role. The starting roles will change as we progress through the season – it’ll be horses for courses. I believe that certain players will be better employed against certain opposition, which will keep the squad fresh.
“I think the players who didn’t the start the game on Saturday deserve a lot of credit for pushing the starting eleven all the way, even on Saturday. There was an enjoyment and a collective celebration from all the substitutes and the squad players to what was a great three points. It backed up everything that we’d done in pre-season, so I was really pleased with the squad and what they’ve achieved over pre-season going into that game and the way that they collectively enjoyed the result.
“Certain aspects of the game need improving, but it was a good show the grit and determination to stay in the game and see it out. We probably should have seen it out a lot more comfortably than we did and that’s something we have to work on.”
Looking ahead to Saturday’s League One fixture against Peterborough United at the Crown Oil Arena, he commented: “I’m looking forward to whoever it is we play against, whether it’s Peterborough, Bristol Rovers or Charlton.
“There will be different set-ups and tactics being used by opponents, so we have to try and come up with a formula to match 22 different types of teams throughout the course of the season. From a manager’s point of view, it’s good because it’s the proper brain game now. It’s about delivering information on opponents, knowing trends that opponents have started to build and making sure the players are aware of that but that we are sticking to what we’re good at as well.
“We have to be aware of what makes us very good, what makes us good, what makes us average and what makes us poor, and if we protect those things that make us poor by really honing in on the things that make us good, then we’re a match for anybody.”
Watch the full interview on iFollow.