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Gaffer Ahead Of Northampton Town

25 February 2022

Manager Robbie Stockdale reflects on the weeks and looks ahead to Dale’s Sky Bet League Two fixture against Northampton Town at the Crown Oil Arena…

“I think in terms of results, we’ve been very close to getting better results. We understand that we didn’t play very well on Tuesday night but we managed to scramble a draw out of it,” said the Gaffer.

“I think you’ve got to sometimes take the positive out of that just on its own merit, because I have sat here plenty of times this season and been really pleased with the performance but disappointed with the result, and it sort of switches a little bit for me on Tuesday.

“I think there’s a doggedness about our performance at the minute that says even when we’re not playing well, we’re going to stick in and we’re going to defend and the goalkeeper is going to make a couple of saves to keep us in the game. 

“We were due a chance and thankfully we got our one and only chance and scored it. I’ve sat here plenty of times before and said we’ve got the highest xG in the league so it’s just swung round a bit.

“Our main focus is to perform well and if we perform well, I believe we can win the game.”

He continued: “We’d obviously like to win the games and that’s always the main focus going into it. I try to pick a team that will do that, and when I pick a team it’s up to the players to perform in the game and perform technically well. 

“We were just off it on Tuesday and we’ve had a lot of criticism, I’m sure, off the back of that, but we drew the game against a good team, and we can dissect it as much as we want.

“We can go against a team that’s flying high at the top of the table on Saturday. They’re doing well - they’ve changed the team from when we beat them earlier in the season and we know we will need to perform better to get a result, and that’s our main focus. 

“When we’re good, we’re good. The second half at Scunthorpe, I thought we were very good, as we were during spells against top of the table Forest Green. We probably didn’t get the result that we should have that night [at Forest Green], but then we got a result that we shouldn’t have on Tuesday. 

“We go into every game thinking that we can play well and if we play well it gives us a chance in it. 

Saturday’s opponents Northampton currently sit second in the table. 

“They’ve been on a really strong run [unbeaten in their last five] and defensively they’re very, very sound. 

“We beat them away from home earlier in the season but there has been a lot of personnel changes for both teams, so it’ll be another strong challenge for us. 

“We hope to play our football a little bit more than we did and, if we do, we’ll give them problems. 

“And vice versa, we need to make sure we defend as well as we possibly can and tidy up certain aspects of our game. If we do that, it gives us a real good possibility to pick three points up.”

Watch the manager’s pre-match interview in full on the club’s YouTube channel. 


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