Stephen Dawson spoke to Dale Player ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup first round tie v Northampton Town at Sixfields…
“I’m loving being here and I’m loving playing. The team itself has really started to believe more than anything that we can hold our own in this league and we’ve just got to keep enjoying it.
“Since I’ve been here, we go into a game believing that we can it. Even if we’re losing at certain times we still believe that we can play. We play a certain type of football where we don’t panic and keep believing in what we do.
“The team spirit here at the moment is second to none and you can see it in every celebration because we’re all sticking together. An awful lot of people said at the start of the year that Rochdale would be one of the favourites to go down, they’d struggle a bit and they’d find it hard, but if you work hard and help each other out like we do then we’ll be successful.”
He continued: Tomorrow’s game will be tough but it’s a bit of a break from the hustle and bustle of the league as we go to Northampton.
“The club obviously had a great run last year and were so unlucky against Sheffield Wednesday - I've watched the highlights. Northampton won’t be easy because they’re a tough team. I know Alan Knill from my time at Bury so I’m looking forward to catching up with him, but hopefully we progress to the next round. If we can play the way that we have been playing and set ourselves right then hopefully we can get the win.”
Stephen Dawson reached the fifth round of the FA Cup with Leyton Orient back in 2011. The O’s earned a replay at the Emirates following a 1-1 draw with Arsenal at Brisbane Road, and while Leyton Orient went on to exit the competition to following a 5-0 defeat to the Gunners, Dawson remembers the enjoyment of the competition.
“We were lucky enough to go to the Emirates in a replay. We got beaten 5-0 and it wasn’t great running round after Nasri and co for 90 minutes,” laughed Dawson. “But it’s probably the only competition where you can say that you get the chance to go to these big stadiums. It’s such a great tournament – I think every club and everyone enjoys it.”
The full nine minute interview is available to watch on Dale Player.