Matty Done reckons Dale’s recent cup run will give the side an added boost as they head into the last 19 games of the season.
Speaking exclusively to www.rochdaleafc.co.uk, the 25-year-old says he’s looking forward to kicking on now following Tuesday night’s postponement at Sixfields.
“It was frustrating not to play because it would have been nice to keep the momentum going – we had a great Christmas and New Year, even on Saturday losing to Sheffield Wednesday it was still an OK team performance, so we were looking to push on.
“It was nice to have a little rest but it was hard watching the other results coming in at home because you just want to be playing. When Chesterfield go 2-0 up you’re looking at the table and thinking that you want to keep that gap as small as you can.”
Reflecting on last weekend’s FA Cup fourth round tie against Sheffield Wednesday at Spotland, Done admitted that it was disappointing not to progress to the next round.
“It wasn’t a case of feeling like, ‘we’ve lost to a Championship team, oh never mind’, the way we performed against Leeds and against Chesterfield on the Tuesday night when we got it back, it seemed that the momentum was with us and I think we let ourselves down. We played OK, but we know we could have played a lot better and the way we conceded the goals was disappointing. To concede two goals from two corners was the frustrating part and then with Rosey scoring a great goal, and them going down to ten men, it almost felt like the opportunity was there to go and get into the fifth round, but it just wasn’t meant to be.”
Done also believes that the players’ reaction to the defeat, and the win over Leeds United in the last round of the competition, says a lot about the character within the squad.
“After the Leeds game, the ITV cameras came into the changing rooms and one of the cameramen said he had expected to see everyone jumping around and you know, we just took it as another game because the lads know in the changing room that we’re good enough to compete with teams in higher divisions. The Gaffer keeps saying to us that he wants a Championship team playing in League Two and we proved against Leeds that we are capable of doing that. The way we played that day was brilliant and the lads know that we’re good enough to get promoted and push on again next season.”
He continued: “It was lovely to play in front of 8,000 plus fans in the two cup games - the atmosphere was amazing. It can almost give you that extra 10 percent and we’ve just got to take that into the latter stages of season and the remaining 19 games because the goal is to get promoted. That is the aim because we’ve proved now over time that on our day we’re one of the best teams in the league. We’ve proved it against two Championship teams, as well as Rotherham in the round before, so for us it’s like we’ve 19 cup games left in the league this season.”
Done has recently cemented his place in the left full back position, and he says it’s a position that isn’t too unfamiliar to him.
“I started out as a left back when I was younger. I played there from around the age of eight up until I was 15 and it was when I was at Wrexham that the Gaffer said that he wanted to move me forward and I’ve pretty much played as a winger since. I’m enjoying playing at full back as it gives me the opportunity to drive forward more, which I like to do, but I’m happy to play wherever the Gaffer asks me to.”
A usually clean shaven Done is the only player to have kept his #BrandonsBeard following the squad’s fundraising effort in November. He’s received some stick from the likes of Ian Henderson who reckons Done has opted to keep his facial hair after being told that he’s moved from a 4.5 to a 7 on the scale of good looks, but Done reckons that’s a bit harsh.
“I actually think I’ve gone from a 7.5 to an 8.2,” laughed Done. “My Mum gave me a bit of a hard time over Christmas because she was moaning that it was getting a bit out of hand so I’ve gone out and bought a beard trimmer to keep it a bit tidier.”