Robbie Stockdale was disappointed not to mark his home debut as Rochdale manager with a win after his side played out a goalless League Two draw against Scunthorpe.
Stockdale took over at Dale after Brian Barry-Murphy walked out to join Manchester City’s coaching team three days into pre-season training.
He has drafted in eight new players and lost key men Ollie Rathbone and Steven Humphrys to Rotherham and Wigan respectively. But, while his young side may just be getting to know one another, they showed enough in the first half against the Iron to clinch three points.
Jake Beesley’s diving header and a Danny Cashman shot – saved by Scunthorpe’s Rory Watson – were the pick of the opportunities during a dominant opening 45 minutes for Dale.
“I’m disappointed to not win it. I felt out first-half performance was very good, we were dominant and created a couple of very good opportunities – the keeper made a very good save,” said Stockdale.
“In the second half I felt we lost control a little bit and maybe got a bit anxious in our work, maybe forcing passes.
“With the young team we have, that can happen, so I am just asking them to stick to the things we are really good at and that should see us through to get the victory.
“But fair play to Scunthorpe, they came into the game a little bit and it got scrappy towards the end, it was quite open.
“The clean sheet was a real positive, I was asking for that before the game and the boys achieved it. If we get clean sheets, we’ll always stand a chance.
“I don’t think Jay Lynch had a save to make, but on the flip side we haven’t worked their goalkeeper enough.”
Scunthorpe boss Neil Cox was pleased to get his side’s first point of the season, especially as he was forced to shuffle the pack after half-an-hour following a facial injury to frontman Ryan Loft.
“I’m happy with a point away from home to any team, especially a team that’s just been relegated and they have some good players for this league. It was a good point, our lads put a good shift in and could have nicked it in the end,” said Cox.
“They changed their formation and played with two number 10s which troubled us for the first half and then we lost Lofty and had to change our plans.
“In the second half I thought we got more of the ball, passed it a little bit better and had a couple of chances.”
The cheekbone injury to Loft leaves Cox light up front and his search for reinforcements goes on ahead of Tuesday’s game against Walsall.
“We are revisiting the striker situation because we need to get that sorted out and I’ll be making telephone calls as soon as we get on the coach out of Rochdale,” he added.
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