Sport

Rochdale’s John Coleman demands defensive improvement after Burton Albion defeat dents play-off push

By Aimee Howarth

Rochdale manager John Coleman blasted his side’s leaky defence as they conceded three goals for the fourth time this month to slip to defeat at Burton Albion.

The Dale fought back from two goals down thanks to a Peter Cavanagh volley and Bobby Grant finish in the second half after Billy Kee and Calvin Zola put the home side ahead.

But they conceded a third as Kee grabbed his second from close range, leaving Rochdale with one win in six and Coleman angry at his side’s defensive record.

“We can’t complain about getting beat because we keep conceding stupid goals, no more so than the second and third,” he told the club’s website.

“We can’t keep having to score four to win games, although we look capable of scoring them – until we start getting nils against us, we’re not going to go anywhere in the league.

“We’re going two down far too often and we can’t keep giving ourselves this mountain to climb. We’ve got to do something about it.

“If we tighten our defence up we can beat anybody because we score goals. But the goals we conceded are diabolical.”

The result sees Rochdale drop into the bottom half of League Two but Coleman insisted they can get back to the play-off places with improvement and a bit of luck.

“We just didn’t have the rub of the green or the decisions in the first half,” he said.

“It could have gone either way, the game, to be honest. I thought in the end we got stretched and they had chances and they could possibly have scored a few more.

“But we just didn’t play well enough first half, second half we were marginally better till they scored.”

Image courtesy of Rochdale FC, with thanks

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