Friday, 16 September 2011

Rochdale Away

Having missed the last two games, I'm looking forward to Saturday's fixture against Rochdale. A break with the family meant I was unable to follow the games and unfortunately my wife banned me from bringing my laptop and therefore blog updates were impossible. Thanks to the wonders of twitter however I was able to stay up to date with the major issues during the games.

The Exeter win left a lot of fans with mixed views. I was personally happy to grab the three points albeit with a bit of help from the officials. Seems that their goal probably crossed the line but wasn't given, and although I don't know exactly what Nardiello said to the officials, a red card seemed harsh. Much has been said about how we took our time to break Exeter down, but in my view these things can take a fair bit of patience. We got the goals required to win the game however which is what is important to me.

Rochdale are having a decent enough run of form at the moment and will be looking to notch up a third win on the bounce having beaten Bury and Scunthorpe in their last two matches. Dale haven't done too bad against 'better' oppostion so far this season. I mentioned their victory over newly relegated Scunthorpe, they also grabbed a point from Huddersfield and dumped QPR out of the cup so we definitely need to be properly prepared.

Chris Powell will no doubt make sweeping changes from the team that lost against Preston on Tuesday. By all accounts the performance was average at best and nobody really took the opportunity to make a case for a starting spot, so it's likely he Powell will go with the same team that defeated Exeter last weekend.

The two clubs haven't played too often in recent times, last season in fact was the first meetings between the two sides since the 70's. Rochdale were worthy winners in this fixture back in March when we were going through our long winless streak. There are only four players left at Charlton that played in the 2-0 defeat, and things have changed Rochdale too with Keith Hill leaving Spotland to move to Championship club Barnsley.

I back us to walk away with the three points if we can continue our fine run of away form. We still have a 100% record on our travels, let's hope it stays intact as we have two tricky away ties ahead in the shape of MK Dons and Sheffield United. With Chesterfield up next we have a great opportunity to ensure we are still top of the table when we make the trip to Stadium MK.

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