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Boston Replay A Massive Opportunity - Riley

15 December 2019

First team coach Lee Riley has spoken of the "massive opportunity" for Dale in Monday night's Emirates FA Cup Second Round Replay at Boston United.

Dale travel to the Lincolnshire outfit knowing a positive result will advance them to a Third Round home clash with Newcastle United.

However, Riley expects a very competitive game against the National League North side.

“I don't think we learned anything from the first game," said Riley. "I think we got exactly what we expected – which was a good cup tie against a good team.

“We are respecting this game as we would any other.

“Maybe we are used to being the underdogs at times in big cup games over the last couple of years but we’ve got to embrace being on the other side of the coin.

“This is a massive night for them, but it's also a massive night and a massive opportunity for our players as well.

“We will come under pressure at certain points of the game without a doubt.

“It's only a couple months ago that we went to Old Trafford and did the same sort of things then.

“There's no reason we have to expect the same sort of thing when we go and play Boston. It will be a very competitive game of football.

"It's easy to say we concentrate on the game and worry about the next round after, which is what we try to do, but everyone would be lying if they said that they weren't thinking about a Third Round home tie against Newcastle United - or any Premier League team.

“But I think Boston will be thinking exactly the same about the rewards from this game."

Dale come into the tie on the back of a 1-0 win at play-off chasing Rotherham United last Saturday.

With players returning from injury, Riley spoke of how positive the mood in the camp has been all week.

He added “since we got back in was straight back in on Monday, the atmosphere around the training complex has been really good – as it usually is.

“We try and keep it that way all the time but naturally, it's even more jovial after a good win on the weekend for the players.

“It’s a massive boost for the whole squad. We are quite a lot bodies down and we definitely were for the Rotherham game so going there and putting out the performance and result we did is great for spirit in the camp.

“MJ Williams was ill last week. He's now back in training and available.

“We're hoping that Aaron Wilbraham becomes available again. Stephen Dooley is nearing full fitness.

“Tyler Magloire has been doing his rehab at Blackburn and is near full fitness. Ollie Rathbone is back on the grass but probably won’t quite make it. Ryan McLaughlin is maybe two to three weeks away.

“We are starting to get more people back on the training ground now. As you would expect that is good for everybody.

“With the busy Christmas period coming up, the more players that we have available, the better for us.”

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