Interim Manager reflects on harsh 4-1 defeat to Rochdale
Interim Manager Dean Saunders felt Reds had the chances to get back into the game at Rochdale before two late goals sealed a 4-1 win for the home side.
At 2-1, skipper Joe Walsh blazed an opportunity over the bar from 12 yards while substitute Matt Harrold was unable to get on the end of Lewis Young’s cross-shot in front of goal.
Those misses proved costly as Ian Henderson, with the benefit of a heavy deflection off Ryan Dickson, and Calvin Andrew, who charged down Lewis Price’s clearance, ensured Dale did the double over Reds having won 4-0 back in September.
Dean said: “It was a funny game because when we got back to 2-1 I thought we looked the more likely side to score the next goal.
“When you’re on top you have to take those chances and unfortunately we didn’t and it has cost us. It wasn’t a 4-1 game but in the first half they were much the better side to be fair.
“You could tell they have been together a long time and that we’re still evolving a bit. We had three players out there (Lewis Price, Darren Ward and Anthony Wordsworth) who have hardly played recently and guys like Gwion Edwards and Ryan Dickson who wanted to play and help the team out but who aren’t 100% fit.
“The effort was there and I’m pleased we didn’t throw the towel in at half-time when we were 2-0 down and up against it. Lewis saved the penalty and that seemed to give us some belief but it wasn’t to be.”
Having signed three players Dean is still looking to add to the squad. “I have got the opportunity to bring in a couple more. There are areas where we need to improve and I hope to be able to do that and have another week working with the players on team shape.
“I know it’s been a while since we won a game but the lads still believe in themselves and I still have every faith in them to get the results that can help us climb the table.”
Dean also paid tribute to the fans who braved the Lancashire snow to support the team.
“Fair play to all of them,” he added. “It wasn’t great for them getting here but they stuck with us and we do appreciate it. We need to stick together – players, supporters and people behind the scenes – and if we do that we can definitely get ourselves up the table.”