The post-match thoughts of Manager Robbie Stockdale following Dale’s 1-0 win over Tranmere Rovers…
“Tranmere are a very strong, competitive team. We know their strengths and defensively they are very good. They had only conceded two goals prior to this today in the league, so it was always going to be difficult but I thought the players’ persistence in the way we want to play and their attitude to keep going even though they could have got frustrated at times was really good.
“It was a really big win for us. I think Tranmere will be up there challenging at the top end of the table, so it’s really pleasing to get the three points.”
The Gaffer continued: “I think we deserved to win. Micky [Mellon - Tranmere Rovers manager], is a guy that I’ve got so much respect for, and he’ll point to the fact that they’ve missed a glorious chance at the end there to equalise and I agree, and probably on the balance of it, the player should score, but I thought we earned that luck.
“I thought the eight minutes threw us a bit when the board went up and obviously they are going to throw more players forward, but we’ve got some young centre-backs and a back five that is relatively young, and a midfielder and two young number 10s in those position, so it’s learning for them and when that board goes up, it’s just keep doing the same thing and clear your minds. It’s a really pleasing victory against a strong team.”
And Stockdale explained what pleased him most about the victory.
“The resilience to keep going. It would have been easy to get frustrated with ourselves with the opportunities that we were creating. I think we had 16 shots, only three of those were on target, so that needs to improve. But again, the substitutes come on and lift us again and that’s saying nothing about the boys that were on from the start because they did really well as well, and it’s nice to have those options off the bench.
“Nobody wants to start the game as a substitute, everybody wants to start but what we’re trying to do here is use everybody the best that we can. On the back of six games undefeated, we’ve got a little bit of momentum going which can only be a good thing.”
The win at the Crown Oil Arena has moved Dale up to fifth in the Sky Bet League Two table but the Boss isn’t getting carried away.
“I always remember back to a couple of games in when everyone was saying, 'what’s this squad going to do’, when basically we’ve done nothing. We’ve got to probably where we deserve to be and the next challenge is to kick on - that’s the challenge to all the players and staff. Let’s not get complacent - complacency hurts us and I don’t see any reasons for that. We go into a week now where we can play properly for the next game.’
Watch the Gaffer’s post-match interview in full on YouTube.