Manager Keith Hill has told iFollow that the squad is in “good spirits” ahead of Saturday’s League One fixture against Blackburn Rovers at the Crown Oil Arena.
Buoyed by last weekend’s performance at Roots Hall, Hill says the players will go into the match with no fear.
“I believe that Blackburn have acclimatised to League One now and I believe they will be very similar to Sheffield United last season, in that they’re a big, big club in League One, because their resources are massive," said Hill.
“They’ve got the right manager and I expect them to be promoted as Champions. The introduction of Tony Mowbray towards the end of last season couldn’t arrest the relegation but I think it was the right decision for Tony to remain and to guide them back into the Championship, and I’m sure they will be a Championship side next season.
“The difference between the two clubs [Rochdale and Blackburn] is massive when you look at the spend value and the recruitment value, but it’s not unfortunate, it’s just the way that the land lies and we will be a very difficult opposition for Blackburn.
“There’s no fear, absolutely none, and we’re looking forward to the challenges."
He continued: “The players got a lot out of the game [against Southend United] with respect to the basics.
“We kept a clean sheet, which I was really pleased about, and I was pleased with the attitude and application of the players, because we’re getting a lot thrown at us in terms of injuries, illness and suspensions.
“We’re in good spirits and we’re looking forward to the weekend’s fixture.
“We want to be encouraged by performances, because performances will lead managers, coaches and players into a sense of feeling good about themselves and that’s when performances turn into results.
“We’ve had two clean sheets – our attacking intent has got to be better, but we have to be on our mettle defensively because we know what the opposition have got.
"We’re just looking forward to the 41 games that we’ve got left to play. We’re running into games, not out of games, which is really important from my perspective. There’s no panic, we just know that we’ve got to come up with the right formula for the 46 games, and that’s where we should be judged – at the end of the 46 games.”
Watch the full interview on iFollow.