|Rotherham United 0 v 1 Rochdale|
Saturday, 7th December 2019 Kick-off 15:00
Match Preview: Rotherham United v Dale
Wednesday, 4th Dec 2019 14:00 by Chaff
Rochdale return to league action after a dismal performance in the FA Cup against non-league Boston as they travel to promotion chasers Rotherham United.
Date: Saturday 7th December
Our league form is pretty horrific, and we haven’t seen a league win since the back end of October when we beat MK Dons at home. We’ve not picked up a single point since then and in that time played three games against non-league opposition and only scored one goal.
So, what is going on? We know we have injuries with the usual suspects of Ryan McLaughlin, Jim McNulty, Tyler Magloire and Stephen Dooley while Calvin Andrew has also been ruled out for the last couple of weeks, as have Jimmy Ryan and Paul McShane who is proving to be a massive miss. We need him back as soon as possible so that the third best crosser of the ball in the division can come out of centre half! Ollie Rathbone has come back from injury thankfully and his introduction on Sunday certainly made a difference, same with Wilbraham in that respect. It will be interesting to see whether Aaron Morley is involved this week as he was taken off early on Sunday for tactical reasons, and then found himself in the reserve team on Tuesday.
The style of play we’ve seen this season is now becoming an issue with many fans while we’re struggling. Our possession stats for the league are superb but they matter very little if we don’t pick up wins. We do seem to struggle playing out from the back with a static midfield which is what we’ve seen while Rathbone has been injured. The lack of movement in wide areas from the likes of Pyke have also been an issue and it maybe illustrates that we miss Stephen Dooley a bit more than people thought we would when he got injured.
If we’re totally honest, nobody is expecting to come away from Rotherham with three points but, we’re getting desperate for points and desperate to turn around our fortunes. We’ve seen a lot of hostility and discontent among the Dale faithful which seems to be snowballing week on week with this dismal form.
Stopping the run of defeats would be a huge start to getting back on track and bring a touch of Christmas cheer to Spotland.
So, these bloody fixtures don’t get any easier do they? Rotherham currently find themselves in 4th place in League One and just successfully got through a sensational game away at Solihull Moors in the FA Cup to set up a home game against Hull City in round 3. Solihull were 3-0 up with 15 minutes left and Rotherham came back to win 4-3. What a morale boost going in to our game!
Their recent league form saw them lose away at Portsmouth last Tuesday but they went into that game on the back of three consecutive wins against MK Dons, Accrington and Gillingham. They also saw off Maidenhead in the first round of the FA Cup.
Freddie Ladapo has been in good goalscoring form for the Millers and he’s got 7 goals from 14 appearances in the league and 10 in all competitions from 21 games. The former Oldham loannee has bagged 5 goals in his last 3 games. Maybe, to add some perspective on the fortunes and stature of ourselves and Rotherham, they apparently paid around half a million quid to sign him from Plymouth while our record signing is still Paul Connor for £150,000 nearly 20 years ago!
Matt Crooks has also provided goals from midfield while Newcastle loannee Dan Barlaser and Leicester loanee Dan Iversen have proven to be superb acquisitions this summer.
Paul Warne is the man in charge at Rotherham. This is his first job in management but has been in charge for three years now having taken the role in November 2016 and he’ll be desperate to avenge last season’s relegation from the Championship by bouncing straight back there at the first attempt and they find themselves in good position to challenge for that.
Our record at the New York Stadium is actually very good. We’ve won every time we’ve played there but I’m not one to take much from these stats at all and have zero faith in that run continuing.
Photo: Action Images
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