Eight’s not great, fumes Hill
SHAPE up or ship out – that’s the strong message Rochdale manager Keith Hill delivered to his players after a second successive 4-0 home defeat saw them exit the FA Cup to Huddersfield.
There is no shame in a League One side losing to the Championship’s surprise promotion contenders, but it was the nature of this defeat that left Hill disappointed, particularly in light of Oxford United’s identical victory last week.
Rochdale had started the game very well and should have been 2-0 ahead, but two bad misses preceded an easy goal for slow-starting Huddersfield just before the break.
Hill said: “To give a goal away like we did, it can be deflating. We’ve got to stop conceding those deflating goals. I’m asking experienced players to manage the game better than they are at this moment in time.
“We’ve had to deal again with another serious injury to Calvin Andrew, and I thought we dealt with it really well, but we can’t shoot ourselves in the foot.
“If that was a league game I’d be saying the same thing, but we were playing against better opposition than League One and we made mistakes, so it’s no wonder we got beaten.
“Sometimes you can try and ignore it because you don’t want to put too much pressure onto the players, but it’s becoming obvious to me now in the last three games that we’ve been making elementary errors, and if those players don’t learn their valuable lessons then you have to replace those players.”
Peter Vincenti headed Reuben Noble-Lazarus’s excellent corner over the bar midway through the half when he should really have scored.
Minutes later Ian Henderson latched onto a poor backpass and rounded Terriers goalkeep- er Joel Coleman, but with the angle narrowing and Jon Stankovic racing back towards goal his rushed shot went wide of the post.
Collin Quaner scored a goal on his Town debut on 42 minutes, with Chelsea loanee Isaiah Brown unselfishly squaring for the new signing from Union Berlin to tap in.
Whether through exhaustion, loss of belief or simply being outclassed, Dale showed none of the good stuff they had produced early on and went two goals down on 66 minutes, with Brown converting after a push on Mark Hudson at a corner gave Town a penalty.
Huddersfield put the game out of sight on 72 minutes as centre-back Michael Hefele – who came on as a centreforward at half-time – got up unmarked in the box to nod home fellow substitute Aaron Mooy’s free-kick.
Hefele’s tap-in from Quaner’s square ball six minutes from time rounded off the scoring.
Huddersfield boss David Wagner said: “The most important thing in this was that we focused on ourselves and also that we were prepared for the different circumstances.
“The conditions were not as good as we needed for our style and our identity of the game, but at half-time we formed the right solutions to be successful in these conditions.
“We completely changed the idea of our game, so we didn’t play as we normally do. But we had the right FA Cup attitude that we have to work and fight and overcome big hurdles.
“The result looked much easier than it was because it was a very tough game.”
BROWN AND OUT: Isiah Brown, on loan to Huddersfield from Chelsea, scores from the penalty spot Brown as Rochdale suffer another humbling