Manager Robbie Stockdale reflects on Dale’s Carabao Cup tie against Burnley at Turf Moor…
“I feel pride in a lot of our performance,” said the Gaffer in his post-match interview.
“I thought we more than held our own for a large part of the game, probably until 60 minutes when the second goal went in. We gave them problems with our ability to keep the ball and we scored a really good goal, but it’s relentless - you’re playing against Premier League players and the pressures that they put you under is constant. It was a great learning curve for out players, especially the younger ones.
“And our ability to see that through in the first half was really good. We had a difficult spell just before half-time but there were chances both ends, and, yeah, just pride really - pride in our performance and pride in our supporters.
“The score line probably flatters them a little bit. I hope other people see that as well because for large period we were good.”
What pleased the boss most about the performance?
“We were brave. We were brave in possession and we were brave out of possession, and then we scored a goal from front foot pressing and it was a really good finish.
“If we can see that out for another 10 minutes or so it gives them a problem and their manager is going to put their big players on, but we just couldn’t do that and that’s the unfortunate thing, but I don’t take anything away from lots of our performance being really positive.
“You get beat 4-1, and I’m not stood here saying we deserved to win the game or anything like that, but we’re just disappointed that we let the game drift away from us a touch.
“I think the scoreline flatters them a bit, but if I look at the team, this is Max’s first real involvement in senior football and he’s playing against International class strikers. Jeriel, Corey, Danny Cashman, Abraham, Aaron Morley, the list goes on. We punched above our weight in this game and for decent periods we held our own.”
The sides went in goalless at the break and Jake Beesley put Dale ahead two minutes after the restart. Burnley responded through Jay Rodriguez moments later before the forward went on to score three more to put the game out of Rochdale’s reach.
“I was pleased with us. Before the game and I reiterated it at half-time, I said that there were going to be some painful moments tonight, and there are going to be moments where you look at your pal next to you and really dig in. I thought the senior players - Jay, Eoghan, Dools, Bees, Jimmy - really stood up and helped the younger ones. It was always going to be a tough ask. We probably scored and made them a bit angry, didn’t we.
“It’s always difficult - goals change games and the momentum got away from us a little bit. If you think back to me speaking to you after the first game at Harrogate to where we are now, it’s chalk and cheese.
“We’re disappointed to concede from set plays but it’s the quality of the ball in and the quality of the movement which we don’t come across at our level. So, again, a really good learning curve and I’m sure that we will be better for it.”
And the Gaffer was full of praise for the travelling support.
“I’ve had nothing but positivity from them. The one thing I would say is - and I’ve just mentioned this to the players - yes, be disappointed, but we’ve got a massive game on Saturday.
“Our sole focus for this year was to be successful in the league - this is a little bonus for us - and we’re going to need that support again. I’ve got no doubts we’ll get it because I think they can see that the players are giving their all, so let’s just reflect on where we’ve come to but we want to get better.”
Watch the manager’s post-match reaction in full on YouTube.