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Stockdale's Pre-Match Thoughts

11 February 2022

Robbie Stockdale says he is more determined than ever to turn momentum in Dale’s favour heading into Saturday’s game against Harrogate Town.

The gaffer admits his side are in a tough moment but insists he is here turn that around, and that the players are of the same frame of mind.

“We need to not be a nearly team, we need to be a winning team, and sooner rather than later,” said Stockdale.

“It’s clear that we’re not in a great place at the moment, in terms of the form, although before Tuesday night we were three unbeaten, so we were becoming harder to beat. The full focus is on winning and I don’t get tired of mentioning that’s what we need to do.

“Everyone throws the winning stats at me, and I get that, but we have drawn a hell of a lot of games and that shows we’re competitive.

“There’s no doubt we’re in a tough moment and I get it. I’m here to fight and I’m here to turn that around.

“I didn’t take this job on thinking it was going to be easy all the way through. We’ve had challenges all the way throughout the season.

“From the very first day that I came into the building there was a challenge and we fought that off.

“I’m more determined than ever to put this right. We spoke with the players and they’re of the same frame of mind. It starts Saturday and we’ll give our all.

“We can never guarantee a positive result, but we can guarantee 100% effort and commitment, and that’s what we demand from the players every time. I’ll be picking a team that I think can win the game and turn the momentum in our favour.”

He expects to be without Paul Downing, who suffered a groin injury in Tuesday night’s defeat at Forest Green Rovers, and says there could be changes to the side.

“We’ve got a couple of injuries from the other night and that might force me into some changes.

“The players that come in have got my complete backing that they’ll do the job or else they wouldn’t be here.

“Paul is having a scan on his groin and Luke Charman has got a bang on his knee, so he didn’t train [on Thursday]. We’re hopeful he might be available.

“Jimmy Keohane is back training now. It was his first day with the rest of the group on Thursday. He’s back in full contact training but he will obviously take a couple of weeks to get up to speed.

“The only long-term player is Josh Andrews, who is still at Birmingham doing his rehab, so we’re looking at several weeks still with him.”

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