Manager Keith Hill believes Saturday’s game against league leaders Scunthorpe United will provide a tough test for his side.
The Iron head to the Crown Oil Arena having lost just two matches all season, while Dale have won nine out of their last ten home games.
Hill is looking forward to the fixture: “It’s a great challenge for us," he told Dale PlayerHD.
"We’re at home and it’s an exciting fixture. It’s one that everybody is looking forward to.
“We’re in good form and it’s a great opportunity to test ourselves and our credentials against the top team in the division.”
He continued: “Scunthorpe are a good side and they are, at this moment in time, the standout team. They’re the most consistent in the division.
“I think the business that they’ve done as a football club – from the Chief Exec, the owner, the Manager, the first team coach, through to their player recruitment – has been exceptional. They’ve got a plan, which has always been there, to get promoted. They’ve got a squad with depth, they’re in a healthy position in the league and I think it’s all as a result of great planning.”
Hill welcomed Jamie Allen and Donal McDermott back from injury this week, while Calvin Andrew is available again after serving his suspension. However, Hill says that the trio aren’t quite ready for a full 90 minutes.
“We can’t rely too heavily on the players who are coming back from long-term injury/ suspension. Yes, they’re back on the training pitch, but are they conditioned for 90 minutes of football? Probably not, no. We have to make sure that we’re patient and introduce them properly at the right time.
“While these players have been out of the team, the team has been doing exceptionally well. There’s a time and a place to put these players back in. They’re really important players, they’re important to have on the training pitch and they’re important to bring no complacency. There’s going to be fierce rivalry for any starting position, but I’ve got to make sure that I select the right balance to the team to be competitive, and that’s what we’re looking for this weekend.”
The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD.