Manager Keith Hill has told iFollow that he was pleased with the “structure of the side” after “getting back to basics” in Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup Round Two tie against Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.
The hosts recorded a narrow victory over Dale, after Hill’s side put in a spirited performance against a relatively strong Boro opposition.
“We don’t get disappointed, we solve problems,” said the Gaffer in his post-match interview.
“We’ve had a few problems in the early weeks of the season so what I tend to do is go back to see where we’ve been successful, and we’ve played a system that we used all pre-season and it worked really well.
“It worked well at Burton and in certain aspects of other games, but as a consequence we’ve been conceding goals and we conceded another two tonight but I felt the structure of the team was more solid against a very good ‘Youth Team’ that Tony [Pulis] put out,” said Hill is relation to the pre-match claims by the Boro manager that he’d field a young side for the tie.
“I was really pleased with the structure of the side and the way we tried to defend and attack, and it was getting back to basics. Looking through how we were successful last season when we were dead and buried, I looked back at how we got the 1-0 victories at Northampton and Rotherham and I wanted to build on tonight and take it into Saturday.
“Sometimes it’s a question of going backwards to find where you’ve been successful to carry on into the future. I believe we’ve got a good squad of players who are lacking in a little bit of confidence, but tonight was a good opportunity to go with a younger squad and say let’s give it a go.”
He continued: “It’s constantly a test for me and there’s no relaxation. I know how we beat Walsall last season and I know mentally how we beat them, but we didn’t perform in the same manner at the weekend. So, I now have to say ‘right, this is what we want to do instead of playing this holistic beautiful game that I want to play and I want to see as a supporter’. I’m a manager, I’m not a supporter and I have to win games, so I have to go back to saying ‘this is what we did and this is how we’re going to beat them and we’re going to beat them this way’ because I know it works.
“I’m encouraged but who knows what’s going to happen. My cross that I carry round with me is Rochdale Football Club and I enjoy that, sometimes it weights heavy, but I still find a way to smile working with this group of players for Rochdale. I don’t know what’s going to happen on Saturday [at Coventry] but we’ll go there to win. We always plan to win.”
Watch the full interview on iFollow.