Manager Keith Hill reflects on his side’s 2-0 Checkatrade Trophy second round win over Oldham Athletic at the Crown Oil Arena…
“Sometimes it’s very difficult to score against a team who defend deep,” said Hill.
“But I thought we were energetic and I thought we had chances. One or two of the players were rusty because they hadn’t played and are coming back from injury, but I wanted to keep some continuity with respect to some back four work.
“The group stages are brilliant from an educational and development point of view, but we really do want to win these games.
“It’s a good competition and I’m pleased that we played a strong side, knowing that Oldham were going to play a strong side.
“It was important that we had a winning attitude, mentality and performance, and I thought the performance was very good. I’m relatively pleased with the performance and the result.
“We created opportunities, we entered the final third really well through passing the ball instead of punting it, so there was a methodology behind what we were trying to do and always try and do, and I thought the lads stuck to task. We just needed that little bit of quality and a little bit of game brain in that final third. If we had that, then I think we win the game more comfortably.”
And Hill again praised the competition and it’s format.
“From my point of view, it helps me on my quest for the future of this football club, as well as the right here, right now, and it’s a good competition for that.
“I have to test and stress these players and it’s a good opportunity for the likes of Aaron Morley to play and Ollie Rathbone who hasn’t regularly been getting 90 minutes because of injury. I want MJ Williams to get a run of games because he hasn’t played a lot recently, and neither have Bradden Inman and David Perkins, so from that perspective it’s important. And the introduction of Dan Adshead and Florian Yonsian tonight gave us that little push that we needed to try something different to get us over the line.”
Rochdale will face Manchester City under-21s at the Crown Oil Arena in the third round of the competition, with a date to be set for January.
“It’s a great opportunity for this squad of players. We know how they played against Barnsley in the last round, and the way they play is exactly the same way Man City play.
“It’ll be brilliant to be able to try and take them on as we try to be victorious.”
Watch the full interview on iFollow.