NEW ERA BUT NO JOY YET FOR NEIL
NEIL McDonald has urged Blackpool’s supporters to forget about the past and concentrate on the future after welcoming them back to Bloomfield Road.
It was Blackpool’s first home game since a pitch invasion forced the abandonment of their last Championship clash against Huddersfield due to unrest over the Oyston family’s ownership.
But there was no winning return, as Ian Henderson’s strike four minutes from time sealed the win after the impressive Donal McDermott had given Rochdale the lead midway through the second half.
McDonald said: “The fans were fantastic. They stayed all the way until the end which is great.
“Come and watch. We want you to come and watch your team.We represent Blackpool Football Club and we’re trying our best.
“We’ve lost 2-0 and conceded two bad goals in my opinion but we’ve created lots of chances.
“It was a tale of two sides. They took their chances and we didn’t. If we were getting beat 2-0 and not playing well and not creating chances I would be worried, but on both cases we weren’t.”
Rochdale created the first chance in the tenth minute when McDermott squared to Henderson, whose curling effort from 18 yards was tipped wide by Kyle Letheren.
And Blackpool didn’t create their first opportunity until the 40th minute, when Mark Cullen broke clear but Josh Lillis saved the shot from 12 yards with his legs.
Rochdale tested Letheren again through Joe Bunney, whose fierce strike from 18 yards was pushed behind by the Blackpool keeper after 57 minutes.
And, just a minute later, Rochdale scored through McDermott, who broke the offside trap before driving the ball home left-footed from 15 yards.
Blackpool could have equalised in the 80th minute – Cullen heading wide unmarked from 12 yards – before Henderson latched onto a weak header from Lloyd Jones and coolly slotted past Letheren from eight yards.
It made for the first time in 16 years that Rochdale have won their first two league matches – and only the second time they have ever beaten Blackpool at Bloomfield Road.
However, the only statistic Rochdale boss Keith Hill is worried about is point tallies.
And Hill said: “I thought it was a very professional performance. We are just pleased. It’s the first week of the season, we don’t look too deeply into historical facts.
“You’ve got to turn a blind eye and not listen to the side shows at Blackpool. What’s the point of us getting involved in that?
“We’ve got to remain consistent over the course of the season, we’ve got to show intelligence and the game-management was good.
“As long as the staple diet of our tactics remains in place and the players stick to it I think we will be OK this season.
“We’ve just got to focus on a 90-minute game and it was a very good 90-minute game from our perspective.We were confident with the two results we’ve had but I thought it was a very professional performance.”
STAR MAN DONAL
le Rochda HEN PARTY: Ian Henderson celebrates Rochdale’s late goal. Inset: Donal McDermott slots home