Neil McDonald rued two “bad” goals as Blackpool suffered their second defeat in five days
Second-half strikes from Donal McDermott and Ian Henderson maintained Rochdale’s 100 per cent start in the first match of the season at Bloomfield Road and extended Pool’s dreadful winless run to seven months.
The Seasiders had a couple of decent chances, both falling to Brad Potts, but never really looked like threatening Keith Hill’s Dale.
Manager McDonald, still seeking a victory after three games in charge, believes two key moments cost his side.
The Pool boss said: “We conceded two bad goals in my opinion, ones which were avoidable.
“We created lots of chances and probably had three one-on-ones, and a header which if it had hit the target would have gone in. I was very disappointed to lose as I didn’t think we were outplayed or outbattled.
“They took their chances, and whatever level you’re at you have to do that.”
The game was played in front of masses of empty seats, with the East Stand closed and the front few rows on the other three sides covered over to prevent any further pitch invasions. Around 500 stayed outside the West Stand to protest against the Oyston family’s running of the club.
Owner Owen Oyston attended the game, though the number who joined him inside appeared fewer than the 7,076 announced.
McDonald refused to acknowledge the problems but praised the fans. He added: “The fans were fantastic and got behind the team. I never thought they’d come on the pitch. They were here to support their team and I think they did that.”
McDonald had his players in for training yesterday in preparation for tomorrow night’s home clash with Burton (7.45pm).
He feels he is learning about his players all the time. “I now know we can create chances and open teams up,” he said.
“We also showed a lot of resilience and a lot of belief in our ability.
“I thought Henry Cameron was outstanding, and if the chances keep coming we’ll win games and the confidence will come back.
“I know first impressions are vital, and the first impressions our fans have will be that we knock the ball about well but need to defend better.”