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Interviews

We've Got To Keep Going - Eoghan O'Connell

22 March 2021

Captain Eoghan O’Connell spoke to iFollow Dale after Saturday’s dramatic 3-3 draw with Peterborough United at the Crown Oil Arena…

Rochdale scored three second-half goals in a six goal thriller to stage a brilliant come-back against the Posh, ultimately securing a point, after the visitors netted in stoppage time to ensure a share of the spoils.

“My emotions are little bit mixed after that because of the way the game ended, but I think we have to be very, very happy with the result in the end, after being 2-0 down at half-time," said Eoghan. 

“It obviously becomes an anti-climax at the end because we concede in the last minute having scored ourselves, but looking back at it, we would have taken it at half-time so we have to take the positives from that and keep going.”

Having been 2-0 down going into half-time, O’Connell says the focus was about what more they could do in the second half to take the game to Peterborough. 

“The first goal was a wonder goal from the lad early on and it rocks us, but we responded and stayed in the game quite well, and then to concede just before half-time is, and it’s an old cliche, the worst time to concede.

“We came in at half-time and we knew that we hadn’t really imposed ourselves on the game in the way we wanted to, but we thought if we could do that second half then we could change the flow of the game, and we did that.

“We got after them a bit more and got ourselves on the from foot. When you’re behind like that, if you get one goal, you don’t know what can happen and today is a prime example of that.”

The Skipper agrees that players showed brilliant character and spirit to come from behind to secure a result, but says that he’d like to see more of that from the start of the game. 

“It shouldn’t be a case of coming to that. We can’t almost sit around and wait for things to happen in the game, we’ve got to go and make it happen. All of those come backs are great, they show great signs of character - we have got that in abundance with the staff and the team - but we can’t keep leaving it to the case of that, we need to crack on from minute one and go after teams."

But overall, O’Connell is happy with the points return over the last two games, which have seen Dale take four points from six, following the victory over Lincoln City last weekend, and says it’s important the side continue to push on. 

“It’s four points from the last two games and whatever way you look at it it’s very good. Even before that, the performances leading into it - Hull, Sunderland and Shrewsbury - they were all very good performances and we probably didn’t get what we deserved from those earlier games, and then from then on in we’ve played well.

“We were brilliant in the second half today to go with the Lincoln game. We’re happy with the way things are going but we’ve got to keep going now. It can’t be a one-off or a every second game. It has got to keep rolling on.”

Dale now have a 13 day period without a game due to four players being called up for international duty. O’Connell says he’s delighted for Kwadwo Baah, Gavin Bazunu, Conor Grant and Jack Vale. 

“It’s brilliant. And we’ve obviously got a couple of Ireland call-ups as well which is good!

“Gavin getting his first senior international call-up at 19-years-old is an amazing achievement and well deserved for the hard work that he’s put in. The rest of the lads are well deserved, too. I know Jack Vale has had a bit of an injury but he’s called up to Wales and it’s a great thing for him, and Conor’s in the Ireland 21s, too, and, of course, you’ve got Kwadwo with his first England call-up. He’s been superb for us.

“It’s hugely exciting for everyone at the club, As a club and as a team, we can only be proud of players like that. It’s a superb achievement and it just shows the work that the staff and doing with all the players that we’ve got here. It’s a huge thing to be excited about.”

Watch Eoghan’s interview in full on iFollow Dale. 


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