npower League Two: Southend United v Rochdale
Roots Hall, November 24th 2012, 3pm kick-off
Rochdale are back on the road this weekend as they head to Essex to face Southend United.
Paul Sturrock’s side are in fine form heading into the encounter and are unbeaten in their last six matches in all competitions. Tuesday night’s 4-0 win over AFC Wimbledon moved them to eighth in the table, just a point behind sixth placed Rochdale who have a game in hand.
Dale meanwhile make the trip to Roots Hall in fine spirits following last Saturday’s 2-1 win over Bristol Rovers and will be looking to put distance between themselves and the weekend’s opponents.
Manager John Coleman has no new injury worries for the encounter but will be without Neill Byrne who joined Blue Bet Square Premier side Barrow on loan on Thursday evening. His counterpart Paul Sturrock bolstered his squad with the addition of Aldershot's Scott Donnelly on the final day of the loan window, and the midfielder is eligible for the match.
Coleman has been reflecting on the win over Bristol Rovers last weekend, and ahead to Saturday's encounter against Southend United.
“I was pleased with the attitude that we showed and in the main the attitude from the players has been good all season," said Coleman. "Sometimes games just get away from us and certainly at home that has been happening, but from the word go [against Bristol Rovers] we had the bit between our teeth and we didn’t get overly set back by the penalty given against us. We didn’t let it affect us, we kept ploughing forward and I thought we got what we deserved.
“We’ve got a long hard slog from now until the end of the season to get to where I think we should deserve to be and it is going to be difficult. The players know that they have set themselves bench marks that they’ve got to aspire to – the likes of the Rotherham game away, the character they showed against Port Vale, and going to Gillingham and winning – but there are also some performances that we know we can’t go as low as, so as long as they stick to them and keep trying to improve then I think we’ve got a chance."
He added: “They’re (Southend United) a good side and we know a lot about them, but with the same token, we can be a good side. If we can go to Gillingham and Rotherham and win then you shouldn’t be scared to go to Southend.”
The full interview with John Coleman is on Dale Player now. You can access the video HERE.
Referees – Carl Berry
Assistant referees – Christopher O’Donnell and Michael George
Fourth official – Adrian Sannerude