Sport

Furious John Coleman slams ‘lacklustre’ players as Rochdale’s poor form continues against Morecambe

By Aimee Howarth

John Coleman blamed Rochdale’s lacklustre first half performance as their poor home form continued with a loss against Morecambe.

Former Dale striker Jack Redshaw opening the scoring for the visitors when he slid the ball past keeper Josh Lillis before doubling the lead in the second half as he headed home Kevin Ellison’s cross.

Rochdale pulled back a goal through a George Donnelly deflected header and there were chances for both sides to score more as Ellison had a shot deflected on to the post and Dele Adebola’s header was saved at close range by Barry Roche.

But Dale manager John Coleman criticised his team for a loss which ends their six-match unbeaten run in League Two and extends their winless streak at Spotland to five games.

“I’m disappointed with the first half performance, I thought we were woeful first half,” he said to the club website.

“We’re not playing really well, we haven’t really occupied them and they’ve had a lot of the ball in our half.

“We didn’t start the second half anywhere near like we should do.

“We conceded a soft second goal and then we backed it up for the last half hour. It was too little too late.

“On the balance of chances, I’d say probably even. Their keeper’s made two world-class saves, our keeper hasn’t made a save.”

He added: “You can see the fans are getting restless after ten minutes and it becomes a downwards spiral where the players don’t help the fans and the fans don’t help the players.

“That’s a recipe for disaster.”

Coleman – celebrating his 50th birthday – said missed chances cost his side dearly and felt some refereeing decisions had gone against them.

“We were always going to give it a good go last half an hour and we did,” he said.

“We missed a couple of good chances. We could have had a penalty and they could have had a penalty.

“I’ll have to see it again but I think the whole turning point of the game was the challenge by Kevin Ellison … in the first ten minutes because where I am from 15 yards away its outrageous.

“He didn’t even get a yellow card and the same lad went on to make two goals.

The result leaves Rochdale sixth in League Two ahead of their visit to 18th-placed Plymouth next weekend.

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