Manager Keith Hill looks ahead to Saturday’s match against Chesterfield at the Proact Stadium…
The Spireites currently sit second bottom of the Sky Bet League One table, 10 points adrift of Shrewsbury Town who are in 20th place.
Hill is expecting a tough encounter against a side who he expects to be playing free football.
“Do I believe in their manager and coaches? 100-percent,” said Hill. “Have they been given one hell of a task? Yes.
“I fully expect Chesterfield and the management team to bounce in a positive direction, whether that’s on Saturday or next season. We’ve watched them and they’ve had great performances, good performances and indifferent performances.
“I think it’s always easier to be in a relegation fight for most of the season, because you’ve been in it and you know how to handle it. The supporters have accepted situation and you can go out there and play freely.
“If a team slips into the relegation places during the later stages of the season, then they are the ones who are really in trouble because they haven’t experienced it. Anxiety becomes a major factor and we saw it with Doncaster last season.
“At Chesterfield, they’ve been in that situation for most of the season so they’ll go out there and play free football.
“I know that Gary Caldwell [Chesterfield Manager] and Steve Eyre [Chesterfield coach] were at our game on Tuesday night but they’ll come up with their plan.
“Again, I’m looking at the way our players played and responded against Millwall, and it’s difficult for me to change things. I’m reasonably happy.
“My fight this season is to try and get 69 points and to try to get more than 19 wins in a season. That’s my fight and it’s the fight of the players and we’ll see where we go. I’m looking forward to the weekend because it’s about the actual game, not the planning.”
Dale head into the game after Tuesday night’s entertaining 3-3 draw with Millwall and Hill says rest has been key this week after the players put in a gruelling shift against the Lions.
“Rest is key when we’re playing twice a week as we go into the final stages of the season.
“What I admire about Tuesday was the fighting spirit. There were times when it could have gone either way and it’s highly commendable that they’ve got that fighting spirit.
“The response from the players was magnificent and it shows that the players, in footballing terms, aren’t on sat on the beach. They still have an ambition to go out and represent what we want to do, but I need more discipline from the players.”
Watch the full interview on Dale PlayerHD.