The competitive season gets underway for Dale this Saturday with the visit of Barnsley to Spotland in the first round of the Capital One Cup, and midfielder Jason Kennedy is raring to go.
After an impressive team display against Burnley on Tuesday night, Kennedy says he can’t wait for the weekend: “As a team we’re all really looking forward to it now,” said JK. “On Tuesday night we put in a good performance, it was a good win against a Championship team, and we’ll look to go and do the same against Barnsley.
“I think any result, especially against a Championship team, lifts spirits. Everyone one in the team put in a shift and worked hard on Tuesday, and we’re just really looking forward to Saturday now.”
The fixture sees a return to Spotland for former management duo Keith Hill and Dave Flitcroft, as well as a number of players who have followed Hilly and Flickers to Oakwell. Kennedy says although they players will give Barnsley the utmost respect, there's no reason why Rochdale can't win on the day: “I’ve played against a few of their players before and with them, so I know they’ve got very good players. We’ve got to give them respect but we’ve also got to go out there and perform ourselves. I don’t see why we can’t win the game.
“I’ve kept in touch with Hilly and Flickers and some of the lads from there, but it’s football, you move on, and you play against your mates.”
Kennedy is one of eight players from last season to remain at Spotland for the forthcoming campaign, and despite thirteen new additions over the summer months, Kennedy says the tough pre-season schedule has enabled the players to gel quickly as a group.
“The Gaffer gets the lads bonding together which is obviously crucial because it’s a very new team. All the hard-work has helped us gel quickly because it has brought everyone together. You’re always looking to help out your mate, and help them progress so they can be at their best too.
“There’ s always a laugh and a joke, but when we train together we work very hard so it is a good blend. Everyone enjoys the training and now we’ve completed pre-season we’re looking forward to the games coming thick and fast.”
A full interview with Jason is on Dale Player now.