Hill not surprised by super Dale start
GOALS in either half for Callum Camps and Reuben Noble-Lazarus handed Rochdale an opening-weekend victory for the first time in two seasons.
And, playing against a team fancied for promotion, Rochdale manager Keith Hill was full of praise for the way his team executed his instructions.
“I just don’t think they (Peterborough) realised what they were going to bump into,” he said.
“We played like that in certain games in preseason, but we’ve been training like that and I was pretty relaxed because I’ve got used to the fact that it is a 46-game season, no matter what happens in the first game of the season.
“Last season it wasn’t great. This season, it’s started superbly, last season it finished exceptionally.
“I’m really pleased with the performance and I’m really pleased with the lads.We’ve done a lot of work with them psychologically and it’s showing in the decisions on the pitch.”
The hosts started brightly, and were furious in the 11th minute as the referee declined to point to the penalty spot after Peter Vincenti’s cross appeared to strike the hand of Kgosi Ntlhe.
Much fancied Peterborough failed to heed the earlier warnings.
Callum Camps was perfectly positioned on the six-yard line, as Henderson’s shot deflected off debutant Alex Davey to the midfielder who poked home in the 18th minute.
Despite their lead, Dale rode their luck at times. Marcus Maddison’s left wing cross was sliced over his own crossbar by Jim McNulty, much to the relief of the home fans.
The only surprise of the afternoon was that it took until the 69th minute for the second goal to come.
Substitute Noble-Lazarus had been on the pitch for just two minutes before his left-footed shot nestled into the far corner.
Calvin Andrew failed to extend the hosts’ lead late on, blazing over from the edge of the area and Peterborough boss Dave Robertson failed to hide his frustration with the result.
“We’ve spoken to the players and we’ve told them that we need to continue to improve and get better after every game,” he said.
“As long as we do that, we maintain our focus and the players are brave enough in terms of their movement to want to get on the ball and keep wanting to get on it and play.
“I thought Jack Collison was excellent when he came on. I think he touched the ball more times than the other two midfielders in the 15 minutes that he was on. That gives you an indication and an idea of how we want to play and that’s what we’re going to do.”