As Dale get set for three games in eight days at Spotland, Assistant Manager Chris Beech is looking forward to the challenges ahead.
“We’ve got a big week,” said Beech.
“We’ve got the FA Cup on Saturday, the JPT on Tuesday and then we’re playing Wigan at home on Sky TV, so what a week for Rochdale Football Club. We want to do really well within that week.”
First up is the visit of Swindon Town on Saturday for the FA Cup first round tie. It’s a competition that Dale have enjoyed successes in over the last two season after reaching the fourth round in consecutive years, and Beech admits that the competition has a special feel about it.
“The nation looks forward to it, doesn’t it. The FA Cup competition still has a major value in English football – it’s a great competition.
“The FA Cup is a special competition but there are absolutely no guarantees other than concentrating on the detail needed to make sure we get what we want from the game and we’ve had a good week this week on the training pitch.
“Recently the first team have done very well, as have the youth team in this competition.
“It has a special feeling about it and it’s good that you can get the chance of playing some really, really good opposition."
He continued: "We’ve got to concentrate on us this weekend. We’re playing against a really good opponent in Swindon who were excellent last year.
“They play a similar style and they’re trying to replicate the heights of what they accomplished last season. It was excellent football with excellent results and they almost got themselves in the Championship. They are, of course, looking to regain that form under new management. They’ve obviously brought in a new manager this week and he’ll be looking to start his first game on a positive note, so we’ve got to really concentrate and not take anything for granted. Hopefully we’ll put everything into practice this weekend.”
Dale head into the game on the back of Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Southend United. Beech says he was pleased with the response shown by the players in the second half as they came from two goals down to claim a point.
“You’re losing 2-0 when three substitutions have been made so you’re looking for a reaction but I suppose the style of management is to be in front of things rather than being reactive and the frustrating factor was that we had worked hard all week to put a plan in place – the players were excellent in training – and we didn’t represent that.
“The reaction to that and the half time talk was excellent but you’re working backwards to come forwards and we’re try our best to work the other way around.
“I was so pleased for the supporters who travelled a long way to watch that football match. Keith mentioned that the first half was nowhere near representing what we want them to value, promote or shout about, but we gave them something to cheer in the second half and we all nearly went away with the three points.”
The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD.