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Proud Of The Players' Character - Lee Riley

26 January 2020

First Team Coach Lee Riley was proud of the character Dale showed in coming from behind to earn a point against Gillingham on Saturday.

Despite taking the lead through Ian Henderson’s penalty, a Jordan Roberts braced for the visitors turned the game on its head.

However, Stephen Dooley netted an equaliser midway through the second half following Aaron Wilbraham’s flick on, who had only been on the pitch a matter of seconds.

“We’re definitely proud of the character,” said Riley.

“We kept trying to play the way that we do play and the lads stuck to the task. Coming from 2-1 down, we were really pleased with finding a way to get back into the game.

“Most people in the ground would probably have been looking to bring Alby [Aaron Wilbraham] on at that stage of the game.

“It was probably quite an obvious change, but it’s brilliant for us and everybody when he comes on and makes an impact so quickly.”

Rhys Norrington-Davies won the penalty which led to Dale’s opener, expertly despatched by Henderson’s 123rd Dale goal.

“Once Rhys was brought down, the whole dugout was pretty confident that Ian would slot the penalty away for us.

“We mentioned Rhys, because he got a really severe injury in an almost identical challenge in the Fleetwood Town game on Boxing Day.

“He’s only really been back with us for a week or two and the courage from him to go into exactly the same tackle again was amazing for us. It’s exactly how he plays the game.”

Riley admitted it was disappointing to concede two goals from set-plays, but also praised goalkeeper Jay Lynch for a fine save towards the end of the game.

“We practice it [set pieces] and assign jobs. Against teams like Gillingham, we know there will be a lot of balls into the box and a lot of set pieces that we have to defend, as well as crosses in open play and long throws.

“We knew we would have to be ready for that so it is disappointing conceding those two goals, when other than that they’ve had very little.

“Jay Lynch has made a great save at the end of the game from a chance that should have been flagged offside.”

Click HERE to watch the full interview with Riley on iFollow Dale.

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