Matty Done says the players will take the positives from Saturday’s draw with Luton Town into the week, as Keith Hill’s side prepares for two cup games this week.
Rochdale take on Leicester City under-21s in the Checkatrade Trophy on Wednesday evening, before welcoming Gateshead to the Crown Oil Arena in the first round of the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday.
Dale dominated the game against the Hatters at the weekend but were forced to settle for a point after the stubborn visitors stood up to the relentless pressure.
Fifth placed Luton had scored in all but two of their league outings before Saturday’s match, so Done was happy with the clean sheet and the display but felt the side should have made more of their opportunities.
“I think they’ll be happy to go away with a point. They had a tough game for 90 minutes,” said Done.
“Luton are a very good team and are free scoring team under their manager, but it was almost roles reversed. We had a lot more chances than they did, which was credit to the lads.
“We had chances, myself included, to wrap it up and be a couple of goals up before half-time. We’ve had chances in the second half to win it throughout the second half and late on. Especially when they go down to 10 men, the mentality for both teams change. You think ‘can we go and nick it’, while they’re holding on.
“We’re happy because they’re a good team but we also feel a little bit disappointed because we feel that we should have got the win.
“But we’ve got to take the positives out of every game and situation. We kept a clean sheet against a very good Luton team because we defended well from front to back - I can’t really think of too many clear-cut chances they had during the 90 minutes. We’ve got to take that as a positive, along with the number of chances we created, although we know we’ve got to score them to turn draws into wins.”
Done was involved in Dale’s opening two group games in the Checkatrade Trophy matches – the wins over Bury and Fleetwood Town – and he says that he’s pleased to see the young players thriving.
“I’ve played in the two games so far, including the Bury game where Luke [Matheson] came on and made his debut. I thought we were amazing in that first half, and that’s credit to the young boys and the staff at the football club who have got them into the first team. Credit to them as well for staying in the first team.
“They train with us and there’s no doubt that they are good enough. We’ve qualified already for the knockout stages so there’s no pressure on us on Wednesday night, and hopefully we can go out and put on a performance like we’ve done in the last two games.
“Our thoughts have been with everyone at Leicester after what happened last weekend. It has been a hard week for everyone there and it’s going to be tough for them. We’ve got to go about our business and be respectful in every way.
Done has some great memories of the Emirates FA Cup during his time at the club and he’s looking forward to the competition getting underway this weekend.
“Every time I’ve been at the football club it has been a great competition for us - it has been brilliant. “That starts on Saturday and we want to go as far as we can again. The aim is to get to the third round and get one of the big boys. We went as far as the fifth round last year, and what an experience for everyone at the football club, so I’m looking forward to it.
“It’s going to be a good week for us with the two cup competitions.”
Watch the full interview on iFollow.