Sport

Blame me: Rochdale boss John Coleman believes he got decisions wrong after Plymouth defeat

By Aimee Howarth

Rochdale boss John Coleman criticised his own match-day decisions as his side’s 3-1 defeat at Plymouth ended their four-match winning streak away from home.

The Dale fell two goals down within seven minutes as a Guy Madjo penalty and Andres Gurrieri’s header gave the hosts the lead.

Bobby Grant’s own spot-kick was saved by Jake Cole but Dele Adebola pulled one back for the visitors before Madjo’s second penalty of the match sealed victory for the Pilgrims.

Coleman rued the spot kicks awarded but focused on his own choices and his team’s performance rather than blaming referee Gary Sutton.

“I’ve got to look at where I could have done better today,” Coleman told the club’s website.

“I could have done better with my team selection, I could have done better with my tactics, and I could possibly have done better with my penalty choices.

“I look at myself first, I’ve spoken to my players and we’ll then show them the video and show them where they could have done better.”

Coleman admitted his side were too slow out of the starting blocks as they drop down to eighth in League Two.

The former Accrington Stanley boss admitted he was left bemused the awarding of all the penalties, believing that none of them deserved to be given.

However, he was quick to take any blame away from the officials and heaped praise on his opponents.

He said: “The penalty was a bit of a body blow and we lost our way for 10 or 15 minutes after that.

“That’s the first time I can remember a game when there’s been three penalties and none of them have been penalties, including the one we got.

“The referee plays on, then the crowd roars a little louder and he gives a penalty. Sometimes they go for you, sometimes they go against you.

“But we can’t just keep complaining about the referee – that would be the easy way out.

“As I’ve said before, the referee didn’t rise unmarked and let in the second goal.

“If you’re going to get better and improve and learn what you do, the first thing you have to do is self-analyse.

“I thought we did quite well second half, I thought we took the game to them.

“We weren’t good enough in the first 15 minutes but while we weren’t good enough Plymouth were very, very good so they won.

“We kept going right until the end but we are not starting games properly. If we had started properly then we could have won.

“But sometimes you’ve got to take your hat off to the opposition and for the first 15 minutes today they were outstanding.”

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