Dale boss Hill happy to make Hatters change their tactics

Winger Kazenga LuaLua came on early in the second half for Luton
Winger Kazenga LuaLua came on early in the second half for Luton

Rochdale boss Keith Hill felt his side made the Hatters alter their tactics due their marvellous in the 0-0 draw at the weekend.

The hosts had by the better of proceedings throughout, as they would have taken all three points but for a fine performance from Hatters keeper James Shea, who made some excellent saves.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Hill said: “I enjoyed watching it - I thought it was tremendous.

“It was a marvellous display for any neutral watching. It’s the way football should be played.

“I thought it was a superb performance and a performance which caused consternation for the opponents and caused the opponents to probably change their tactics, which is what I want as a manager.

“With respect to the team, the identity, the way we played, the courage that the players showed both in and out of possession and the goal scoring opportunities we created, I’m really pleased.

“We didn’t convert those opportunities that we have to convert, but we kept a clean sheet, which gives us a valuable point.

“If I get that energy with the way I want to play, the we’ll upset a few teams. I want that honesty, and we got that again today.”

The manner in which Hill’s side set about their task caused Hatters chief Nathan Jones to make a double change on 55 minutes, taking off Andrew Shinnie and Elliot Lee for Kazenga LuaLua and Harry Cornick, moving away from the diamond to a 4-3-3.

On why he made the switch, the Luton boss said: “I could have done it at half time, but I thought we won’t play as passively as we did first half, or I didn’t think we would play as passively.

“So I thought give them an opportunity, but nothing really changed, we didn’t get to grips with the game early on, so I gave it until 60 and then we have a good squad we have to use.

“We had changed to a shape where one or two people were playing out of position, we have people who can play in those positions, so that’s why we changed, not ideal, but it enabled us to get a foothold.”

After Danny Hylton was dismissed with 15 minutes to go for a foul on Ian Henderson, Jones also opted to bring off fellow striker James Collins, who had got involved in heated exchange with the Dale forward, for defender Alan Sheehan, moving Matt Pearson into midfielder for the closing stages.

He added: “Once we went down to 10 men, then we needed to think rather than just soak it up we’re going to need an outlet.

“It was either James holding it up and bringing people into play, but I never felt we were really at it today, so I thought we were probably more likely to get in through Harry’s pace, so that’s why we made the change.

“That’s always a difficult one as he’s so good from set-plays is James, but then Sheez comes on and he can do that job.

“It’s just something that enables us to get a point out of the game, and I still think we could have defended a bit better, had a little bit more pressure on the ball, late second half.

“But when you’re down to 10 men, you tend to retreat a little bit more deeper than you would normally, try to defend your box and we’ve done that admirably.”