Manager Robbie Stockdale reflects on the week and looks ahead to Rochdale’s first home game of the season, in his latest interview…
Dale were due to play Harrogate Town midweek in the Carabao Cup - a second meeting between the two sides in three days - but the game was postponed due to positive Coronavirus cases in the Town squad, later leading to the fellow League Two side forfeiting the tie, with Rochdale being given a bye into Round Two.
“It’s disappointing not to play the game. It’s unfortunate for the players who were going to play - I was going to rotate the team a little bit, so in that respect, it’s a disappointment,” said the Gaffer.
“On the otherhand, we hope everybody at Harrogate is well. It shows we need to still be vigilant and that we’re not out of the woods yet. They had a lot of positive cases so our best wishes go to the people there, and I hope everybody comes through safe and well.
“It does mean that we have had a full week going into the Scunthorpe game and gives the players that needed a little breather, who haven’t had a full pre-season, a chance to get some rest and hopefully come into the game fit and firing to go.”
Saturday’s game marks the Boss’ first home league game in charge and he’s looking forward to it.
“Our following to Harrogate last weekend [on the opening day of the league campaign] was fantastic so I’m really looking forward to my first home game in charge. We want to start the game better than we did last week and make sure the fans have a reason to back us.
“I’m sure they will anyway, but I also hope that if the fans see a young team that’s trying and maybe finding a difficult spell in the game that they back us when we really need it as well.
“If we’re going to be successful, then it’s going to take everybody - players, staff, fans and everyone within the club.”
And the Gaffer believes that having a good home record is key.
“I showed the players some stats today about what it takes to be successful in this league and a good home record is vital for that. We’re really looking forward to the game and we’re confident going into it without being over-confident. We’ve done our homework on Scunthorpe - I went to watch them at Barrow the other night and they changed formation from the first game they played. So we’ll be prepared as we can be, and hopefully when the players cross over that white line, they put on a good performance.”
Stockdale confirmed that Abraham Odoh, Jimmy Keohane and Eoghan O’Connell have all trained this week.
“Abraham [who went off injured last weekend] has trained all week and he’s looked fine. Jimmy has trained the last two days with a brace on his shoulder and Eoghan has trained from Thursday onwards, so he’s in contention to play - it’s nice to have those bodies back.
“As a manager you want everybody fit all the time. I want to have problems picking the team, so to have those bodies back on the training pitch is really positive.”
Watch the full interview on YouTube HERE.