Manager Keith Hill admits that he’s striving for consistency between now and the end of the season, as Dale get ready to make the trip to Crewe Alexandra’s Gresty Road.
Rochdale head into the match on the back of last weekend’s win over league leaders Burton Albion and Hill is hoping his players can take the same type of performance into Saturday’s game.
He told Dale PlayerHD: “We’re preparing to, but when the green light goes and the whistle gets blown for the start of the game, it’s over to the players to a certain degree.
“They’ve got to accept that responsibility, they’ve got to accept that challenge and accept that little bit of pressure that we should be doing better than we are doing because I believe we should be doing better than we are doing.
“But that’s just my ambition and my expectation of this squad. I’m always trying to improve myself, the players and the club’s fortunes, but I don’t know what normal is at this moment in time for Rochdale Football Club. During my time back at Spotland I don't know what normal is because it was a great season last season.
“And the league again is very unpredictable, and the remaining 19 games are a big challenge for us to try and achieve some consistency to the level of ability that we’ve got in the squad.
“I’m looking forward to [Saturday’s game and the remaining 19 matches]. I can’t demand consistency but I can strive for it and that’s probably the biggest problem that we’ve got to solve this season.”
Rochdale inflicted three heavy defeats on the Alex last season, 5-2 at Gresty Road, 3-0 in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and 4-0 at Spotland. But Hill isn’t taking previous results into consideration.
“I just think we take our style, our energy and how we play into the game at the weekend, and into the game against them on the Tuesday after we play Millwall.
“For me it’s about us. We’ll prepare well against the opposition, like we always do. We go through the opposition with great intelligence and due diligence and without any fear, and we’ll go there with a game plan.
“We don’t take into consideration what has happened in the past but we do believe that we’ve got a fair and equal chance of getting some points, if not all three, out of this game.”
Dale have six fixtures to look forward to in February, including four games at Spotland, and while Hill agrees that it could be a chance to accumulate points on the board, he’s taking just one game at a time.
“It could be but I don’t want to look too far into the future. We’re trying to take these games one game at a time, starting with Crewe.
“But what we do want is to represent our supporters, our identity and our football club in the way that we did against Burton, and if we do that, then we’ve got a fair chance of winning this game.”
The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD.