Jimmy McNulty says the players had to dig deep to take a 2-2 draw against Gateshead on Tuesday.
Dale took a 2-0 lead into half-time, thanks to goals from Jesurun Uchegbulam and Ian Henderson, but were pegged back after the break.
The Head Coach says Dale fatigued towards the end but that they were outstanding in the first-half.
“On the balance of play, I’m probably pleased with the point,” said McNulty.
“I really like Gateshead, I think they’re a very good team. Just myself personally, I think they’re the best team in the league, regardless of where they finish.
“A lot of the teams in the league that have a solid identity, they’re beyond two years into a project, they’re three or four years in with the same manager. They’ve evolved the group to really suit what they’re doing, and I expected a really tough challenge tonight.
“I never felt fooled, even at 2-0, that the challenge wasn’t real. They had their moments in the first-half but we did too.
“I think there’s real important moments in games – if Hendo’s header goes in to make it 3-0, it kills their belief that they can come back.
“Their first goal was an unbelievable strike, it couldn’t be more in the top corner. They’ve got good momentum at the minute, and it was challenging.
“But I must say, going to 2-2 and with momentum swinging in the game, I was really pleased with our resilience and character, and still carrying that counter-attack threat.
“As we really fatigued and struggled to find changes to the bench to help the team, the players dug deep and took a creditable 2-2 I think.
“They were brilliant goals [Dale scored] and we played really well in the first-half.
“The players were selfless and humble with their work. It’s a big out of possession shift against Gateshead.
“I knew what a difficult challenge it would be against Gateshead, to impose ourselves on them, and to go 2-0 up in the fashion that we did, we were outstanding in the first-half, but they did have their moments too.”
Watch the full interview with McNulty below via our official YouTube channel.