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Interviews

Gaffer's Walsall Preview

8 April 2022

Robbie Stockdale wants his side to carry on the form and competitiveness they have showed in the last two games, as Dale welcome Walsall to the Crown Oil Arena on Saturday.

A 2-0 win over Carlisle United was followed up with a goalless draw against playoff chasing Swindon Town.

“The clean sheet mentality is fantastic,” said Stockdale.

“It’s something we stress to the players all the time and it’s a team effort.

“We want to carry on the form and the competitiveness in the team to do the basics right, because I do believe we’ve got some really good technical players, but that isn’t enough in any game.

“You’ve got to stand up to the fight and the challenge that’s in front of you, and I feel that we’ve done that particularly well over the past two games.

“We’ve managed the games really well and we’ve tried separate tactics for both games. Swindon are a very good team, and it shows where we are that we’ve drawn twice with them, and played well against other teams at the top and picked up points against them.

“I stress that when we’re good, we’re a very good team, and that’s what we need to carry on now. I’m not really looking beyond the game at the weekend, that’s the only thing in my mind at the moment.”

It is the third of three consecutive home games for Dale, something Stockdale says the players have enjoyed.

“Results and performances have helped that. The effort and the appreciation they get from the supporters, when they produce the performances, has been really good.

“We want to carry that on, it goes without saying. We’ve not been beaten many times at home, I think once in the last 14 games, so that’s a positive, although we would have liked to have won a few more!

“At the same time, I wanted to make this place a really difficult place for teams to come and take points from, and the facts prove that.”

The gaffer also gave a fitness update on the squad.

“I’m a bit bunged up with a head cold and it’s doing the rounds! We’ve lost a couple today [Thursday], so hopefully they’ll be back in the building tomorrow [Friday].

“Paul Downing has had another full week of training which is obviously beneficial to him. Max Taylor still isn’t training with the squad but he’s well on the way to recovery, so we hope to have him back soon. Other than that, it’s your long-term injuries that will be missing.

“Walsall picked up a few positive results when Mike [Michael Flynn, Head Coach] went in there.

“Off the back of, from what I’ve read and seen, a disappointing result last weekend, I’m sure they’ll be coming to try and put things right.

“This will be a very difficult game and we need to be right at it, because Mike will have them firing on all cylinders.”


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