Manager Keith Hill will turn to his senior players to guide Dale through the remaining 18-games.
In a Monday interview with www.rochdaleafc.co.uk, he said that he believes protecting the younger members of the group is key.
“There’s a mental fatigue with the young players and they need to be fresh from pressure. I don’t want to ruin these players and this is where I need to protect them and I will. I’ll protect players like Scott Tanser, Joe Rafferty, Rhys Bennett, Jamie Allen, Callum Camps and Joel Logan. It’s correct that there is no fear in playing young players, but that’s only when it’s correct to play them. If you continue to play the young players they end up being broken and I don’t want to see that.
"I think it's important that people understand that when the likes of Scott and Jamie are not playing, or they're not in the squad, it’s because there’s a massive metal fatigue to what they’ve been doing and expectation weighs heavy psychologically.
“Scott has had a successful season and he's done brilliantly to get us to this point, but I'm not going to put pressure on him. It’s up to players like Michael Rose and Tom Kennedy to carry the great work that Scott Tanser has done in the first part of the season.
“And it might be up to Stephen Dawson and other players to carry the great work that Jamie Allen and Callum Camps have done. Yes, they will play a big part in the remaining fixtures, but I have to look at the experienced players and ask them to play us through the remaining 18 fixtures because I don’t want to ruin the young players - I’m looking into the future. Yes, I have to take care of today’s business but I also have to make sure that we’re protecting next year’s squad of players as well.”