Manager Robbie Stockdale reflects on Dale’s 2-2 pre-season friendly draw with Rotherham United at the Crown Oil Arena…
“It was another really good work out,” said the Gaffer.
“It was pleasing that, I think, we progressed from where we were against Fleetwood for longer periods, so that’s obviously the fitness levels improving and maybe the players are taking on board the messages that we’re giving them. I said after the Fleetwood game that was really exciting and I think they did it again, so I’m pleased tonight. It was good.”
Dale started the match strongly and set the tempo for the game, something Stockdale is also pleased with.
“We started the game [strongly] and we also did that against Fleetwood. With it being so hot this pre-season, I was worried that the tempo would then drop a little bit after the drinks break but it didn’t, and, if anything, it increased. We were probably a bit unfortunate not to go in at half-time in the lead.
“Again, it’s those moments in games that the boys come back out [after the stoppage in play] and it might take a little bit of time to get going because it’s pre-season and it’s still about fitness, but they carried it on and they forced a team in the league above us to change formation.
“It’s not about the result at the end of the day today, but what is pleasing is that we’ve had some really positive performances on the pitch. The players, touch wood, have come through unscathed so there are no injuries, and we just focus on the next little bit of pre-season.
“Let’s not get carried away. We know where we are and we’ll get better and better, and, as the players get fitter, the decision making gets clearer. But I am very demanding of them and I told them that at half-time and after the game. I won’t stop - I will push them and push them until they can’t go any more and then we’ll go again. We’ve got some talented players here, without a doubt, and I think they can probably go onto the next levels given the right guidance.”
Jake Beesley netted a brace in the Tuesday’s draw, to add to his goal against Fleetwood Town on Saturday.
“It’s always nice for a forward to score. I thought he took his penalty really well and it was a nice finish for the second one. The pressing that we tried - we won the ball high up the pitch, we got that slightly wrong and good teams will play around us, but at least we’re on the front foot and we’re trying to have a positive impact on the game without the ball, as well as with it.”
Watch the Gaffer’s interview in full on YouTube.