Monday, 28 March 2011

A Dale fan writes, Part 3

Hopefully it will be third time lucky at Rochdale tomorrow night and the game will go ahead. Our friendly Dale fan has updated us on the team's progress and give us his thoughts about tomorrow night's game when he will be supplying a report as well as one by our very own Paul May:

With ten games to go we are now safe. We have 54 points. We can raise a smile and think about the fact that almost everyone outside , and some inside, Rochdale thought we were certainties for relegation this season. We are above clubs such as Charlton and Sheffield Wednesday in the league table. We are living the dream. The Keith Hill bandwaggon rolls on. Two play-off appearances, including a first ever appearance at Wembley, followed by the glory of the elusive promotion, and now a very good chance of a top half finish in the third tier for only the second time in our history, or even better.

Since Christmas we have lost only three times in seventeen games, winning nine and drawing five. Talismanic midfielder Gary Jones is now on a personal best of 18 for the season in all competitions, and his most regular goalscoring partner is centre half Craig Dawson, who is off to West Brom at the end of the season and has to be replaced. Recent games have seen a 4-5-1 system deployed to great effect, with Chris O'Grady holding up the ball superbly and bringing in runners such as Jones, Matt Done and Nicky Adams to great effect. The idea of playing Charlton in a league game still does not seem real, it is only a few years since there were 3 levels between us as we all travelled down to watch you beating us comfortably 4-1 (despite a few scares after Grant Holt pulled one back for us early in the second half) in the FA Cup in 2005.

I know that Charlton have been on a poor run after the initially euphoric reaction to Chris Powell's appointment, but they seem to be steadying the ship with good results against Bournemouth and Southampton, and with the threat of Bradley Wright Phillips I think it will be a tight game, possibly settled by one goal.

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