Match Preview: Rochdale vs Fleetwood
Thursday, 1st Oct 2020 17:30 by AtThePeake
Callum Camps makes his return to Spotland on Saturday afternoon as Dale welcome Fleetwood Town in the Sky Bet League One.
Date: Saturday 3rd October 2020
Having gone into the campaign as odds-on favourites for relegation with a host of bookmakers, Dale have been handed a very tough start to the campaign with their fixture schedule but have shown signs of life, particularly in the cup competitions.
A win over Morecambe in the EFL Trophy and an encouraging display that saw a penalty defeat to Manchester United in the same competition, coupled with a surprising away win at Huddersfield Town in the first round of the EFL Cup, have shown that this Dale side has plenty of fight within it.
However, Brian Barry-Murphy's charges have picked up just one point from a possible nine in the league thus far and what's more, high-profile signing Stephen Humphrys finds himself on the sidelines having been injured just 33 minutes into his debut, the goalless draw with Portsmouth in the only home fixture so far.
The two away games have not yielded any points and indeed on the opening day of the season, the performance in the 1-3 defeat to Swindon Town was pretty abject, particularly in the first-half. Worryingly, Jimmy Keohane's late consolation goal remains the only one scored by the club in League One so far this term.
Last weekend, an encouraging first-half display at Portman Road was undone thanks to some silly mistakes and a short spell that lacked concentration after half-time. Ipswich Town took full advantage, scoring twice and weathering Dale's few spells of sustained pressure on Tomas Holy's goal.
Another tough opponent stands in Dale's way this weekend in the shape of play-off chasing Fleetwood Town, who escaped from their trip to Spotland Stadium on Boxing Day with a narrow victory.
Having achieved a mid-table finish in the 2018/2019 campaign, Barton was able to progress further thanks in no small part to some smart investment once again from boss Andy Pilley, leading the club to 6th place only to see them taken apart by eventual play-off winners Wycombe Wanderers in the semi-finals, the tie finishing 6-3 on aggregate.
The Lancastrian club's dramatic rise through the leagues since Pilley took over has been well-documented and they have become established at this level over the last few seasons - but the prize on offer in the Championship is the one focusing their attentions now.
Some more smart additions were made this summer including Mark Duffy, Jordan Rossiter and Sam Stubbs but the one that of course will have been noted by Dale supporters was the arrival of Callum Camps following his release from Spotland Stadium.
Having come through the youth ranks at Dale before clocking up over 200 league appearances for the club, Camps' departure seemed inevitable given that rumours regarding his future had been circulating for quite some time. At 24, Camps finally left for pastures new and has enjoyed a fine start to life with the Cod Army, scoring twice in his first three league games.
In fact, the Cod Army themselves enjoyed a fine start to the campaign, winning their first four competitive fixtures of the campaign including their opening league match against Burton Albion. However, since then they've crashed to three consecutive defeats, including a coupon-busting loss at home to AFC Wimbledon last time out.
Although the defeats to Peterborough and Everton prior to that loss to the Dons won't have worried boss Barton too much, he will expect a reaction from his team after last week's performance whilst Dale fans will simply be hoping his side don't mirror their manager too much in their display as they did in their 2-3 win here last season.
18 Aug 2018 - Fleetwood Town 2-2 Rochdale - League One
Photo: Action Images
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