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McCall reflects on draw with Rochdale

8 September 2018

Iron manager Stuart McCall feels his side’s decision-making needs to improve, after they were pegged back by Rochdale to draw 3-3 at Glanford Park on Saturday.

Lee Novak and Ryan Colclough scored to give the side a 2-0 lead in the opening half, but the visitors hit back straight after the break.

Charlie Goode extended the lead to 3-1 soon after, but the Dale came back into it and scored twice to take a share of the spoils.

McCall told iFollow Iron: “We expected it to be open, and we knew we’d get opportunities but that we had to defend well. We went in two goals up at half-time, and looked okay at parts. In the second half, we lost a goal at the start. We were talking about giving cheap, silly free-kicks away on the edge of the box, and though Jak (Alnwick) made a really good save, we didn’t follow it in and their lad did.

“We bounced straight back with a goal from a set-play, but then we seemed to go within ourselves and into our shells. They were always going to come on, they’re 3-1 down and had to have a go. They brought (Aaron) Wilbraham on up front and put long balls in and then played from there.

“The third goal was a really poor goal to lose. They all left it for each other and it’s about decision-making. Even though you’re 30 yards from goal, if you have to make a foul you go and do it. You can’t let the boy take the ball. They got a fortunate deflection and it went over Jak’s head, but I don’t think it was anything less than they deserved.

“A lot of football is about decision-making and I just felt we made a lot of wrong decisions. There were times when we could have counter-attacked and looked after the ball, but our passing and possession wasn’t good enough. There were times when we slashed at the ball and showed an edginess, but I think that’s on the back of being beaten at home by Fleetwood and then being pegged back against Barnsley. We were hanging on again today. You take a point out of it but when you’re 2-0 up and 3-1 up you’ve got to manage the game better. Unfortunately, we’ve not done that today.”

A positive to take though was the three goals scored, after McCall challenged his side to entertain the fans, attack and make the opposition goalkeeper have to work in the run-up to the game.

He added: “We looked a bit more of a threat. We have a lot of young lads still learning the game in the top end of the pitch, apart from Lee (Novak). Ryan (Colclough) has been about the game but he’s an off the cuff winger. He had bright moments and scored a terrific goal for us.

“Josh Morris put two really good free-kicks in for us (to set up the other two goals). It was a great header by Charlie. That’s what you want your centre-halves to do and that’s why they go forward for set-plays.

“There are certain players who know themselves there’s more to come from them. They’re maybe lacking a little bit of confidence, but it’s up to myself and my staff to get around them. It’s not a case of berating them, we need to learn from our mistakes, show a little more composure and just learn together and work together really.”

Rory McArdle and Jordan Clarke missed out through injury, and McCall provided an update on their situations after the game.

He said: “Rory has been struggling with his heel all season. It started off with a blister and has got a lot worse. Even though he wants to put himself out there, he’s not doing himself any favours so that needs complete rest. It’s no good him trying to come back next week and put himself at risk. He’ll rest until that heals, and he’s been to see the plastic surgeon. Hopefully it’ll be no longer than a couple of weeks, but it’s no good trying to bring him back too early.

“Jord’s hamstring was tight after the game the other night. When he then trained yesterday, he didn’t feel comfortable. His game is getting up and down and we need him to do that for us if he’s in that position. We lost two experienced players in that back four but hopefully they won’t be out too long.”

See much more from Stuart McCall and Ryan Colclough on iFollow Iron. Click here to sign up.

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