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Town Visit Rochdale Aiming to Build on Good Friday Win
Sunday, 4th Apr 2021 16:25

Town visit bottom-of-the-table Rochdale on Easter Monday looking to build on Good Friday’s 2-1 home win against Bristol Rovers.

That victory moved the Blues up to ninth in the League One table, two points off the play-offs but with sixth-placed Blackpool having played one match fewer.

Manager Paul Cook will be looking to win back-to-back games with the Blues for the first time and will probably give the 3-5-2 system he moved his team to on Friday another go against Dale.

That would see keeper Tomas Holy start in goal with the back three, from the right, Luke Woolfenden, Toto Nsiala and skipper Luke Chambers, with Gwion Edwards and Stephen Ward likely to be the wing-backs.

Andre Dozzell and Teddy Bishop will probably continue in the centre of midfield, although Cole Skuse is another option, with Alan Judge ahead of them.

Up front, James Norwood seems certain to miss out having come off at half-time on Friday with a thigh problem and Cook will have to decide who will partner Kayden Jackson with either Troy Parrott or Aaron Drinan his replacement.

Cook said on Saturday one or two players are getting close to making their returns following minor knocks.

“We’re doing alright,” he said. “Benno [Keanan Bennetts] and [Oli] Hawkins have played 45 minutes [in a friendly] at Norwich, Flynn Downes and Myles Kenlock are on the grass.

“A little bit of bad news [with Norwood], but fingers crossed, we might have some good as well. Flynn, I wouldn’t say the next few weeks, I’d say sooner than that. But I won’t rush people back.”

In addition, skipper Luke Chambers said right-back Kane Vincent-Young isn’t going to be out for too long with the hamstring injury he suffered at Wigan. Hawkins and Bennetts could be among the subs.

Rochdale go into the match having won just once in their last 12, a 2-1 victory away against Lincoln in the middle of last month.

At home, they have won just once this season, a 2-1 success against Fleetwood at the start of October. That’s a run of 16 league games at Spotland without a win, although they drew 3-3 at home with second-placed Peterborough in their last home match. They have picked up only 11 of their 32 points at Spotland.

On Good Friday, Rochdale were beaten 2-1 by Portsmouth at Fratton Park.

At Portman Road in September, second-half goals from Bishop and Edwards saw Town to a 2-0 victory over Dale, their third successive win by the same scoreline, as they maintained their position at the top of the League One table.

Both teams had had chances in the first half with full league debutant Hawkins going close on three occasions but it took until the 53rd minute for Bishop to open the scoring with Edwards sealing the three points six minutes later.

Last season’s Bonfire Night game at Spotland is the only other time the teams have met in competitive action with the Portman Road fixture among those which was due to take place after the 2019/20 campaign was curtailed in March last year.

Danny Rowe’s first and ultimately only Town goal was enough to see the Blues to a 1-0 win. The winger reacted quickly to turn a defensive error past home keeper Jay Lynch in the 53rd minute.

Blues right-back Luke Matheson, who is on loan from Wolves, was playing in that game having come through the ranks at Rochdale. He made 29 starts and seven sub appearances for Dale, most prior to moving to Molineux for £1 million in January 2020 and five starts having returned on loan.

Monday’s referee is Christopher Sarginson from Staffordshire, who has shown 75 yellow cards and three red in 29 games so far this season.

Sarginson’s last Town match was the 4-1 win at Blackpool in October in which he booked Dozzell and Myles Kenlock.

Coincidentally, he was also in charge of February last year’s 2-1 defeat at Bloomfield Road, in which he cautioned Flynn Downes and three home players. Town felt they were denied a very strong claim for a penalty when Sears was fouled in the first half.

He also refereed the 2-1 home defeat to Coventry in December last year’s FA Cup replay at Portman Road in which he kept his cards in his pocket throughout.

Prior to that he was in charge of the 1-0 win at Gillingham in September 2019 in which he booked Wilson and Judge as well as one home player.

His only Blues fixture before that was the 2-0 home victory over Brighton in September 2014 in which he booked Skuse, Jonny Parr, Paul Anderson and three of the visitors.

Squad from: Holy, Cornell, Chambers (c), Ward, Nsiala, Woolfenden, McGuinness, Dozzell, Skuse, Judge, Harrop, Bishop, Edwards, Lankester, Bennetts, Sears, Norwood, Jackson, Parrott, Hawkins, Drinan.

Photo: Matchday Images

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Gforce added 17:21 - Apr 4
Rochdale only one win at home all season, I wonder what might happen next.

therein61 added 17:31 - Apr 4
It's a must win if we are to stay in the mix so go to it you blues, whatever side goes out there should not need motivating to do the job, but then with our boys nothing is plain sailing.

TractorFrog added 17:54 - Apr 4
I would go with:
Holy; Edwards, Woolfenden, Nsiala, Chambers, Ward; Skuse, Bishop, Judge; Parrott, Drinan
Subs: Cornell, McGuinness, Dozzell, Bennetts, Dobra, Jackson, Sears

dirtydingusmagee added 18:19 - Apr 4
it will be had work as usual ......and thats just listening.

Vanisleblue2 added 18:43 - Apr 4
mmmmm.... One home win all season and Ipswich coming to visit with half the team in the treatment room again- what could possibly happen??

I hope he plays the flair players- Dobra, Parrott etc.

therein61 added 18:44 - Apr 4
tractorfrog i respect your opinion on the side you would put out but why in a must win game would you play the error strewn premiership class no/8 in front of his error strewn mate it's a big prang waiting to happen, only my opinion as i have respected yours.

StavangerBlue added 18:48 - Apr 4
Rochdale win. We could have an open goal all game long and we won't have one shot on goal.

Ebantiass added 19:37 - Apr 4
This could go either way sad to say. Hopefully we will scrape a win again like the last match. I would bite their hand off if offered a 2-1 victory.

Facefacts added 20:37 - Apr 4
Finding it frustrating to watch us at the moment but let's hope we can scrape another win. Also been ill since COVID-19 first vaccination and missed the Bristol Rovers game so will keep the £10 in my pocket again tomorrow. Can't take the strain at the moment.

Pilgrimblue added 20:43 - Apr 4
Time for real attacking team with Parrott Drinan Norwood up front with Dobra out wide. Defence is holding its own so just need to find system that'll produce more than 2 goals.
So no Sears or Jackson thank you. Maybe include a youth striker on the bench.

masetheace added 20:56 - Apr 4
Give Hawkins a go . The only target man he have . Ten times better than Jackson and never let us down in his few starts

Edmundo added 21:54 - Apr 4
We can't play wing backs with Edwards (show pony) and Ward (no legs). Dozzell also needs a break, his confidence is gone. Skuse in the middle of a diamond 442 would be my favorite on this.

OwainG1992 added 23:08 - Apr 4
3 points lads.
Nothing else matters.
Ugly 1 0 whatever it takes.

ringwoodblue added 23:18 - Apr 4
Another ugly 1-0 win for Town with our top scorer Owen Goal scoring for us again!

KiwiBlue2 added 03:52 - Apr 5
I would go with something like this:
Woolfie - Toto - Chambers
Edwards - Bishop - Dozell - Kenlock (if fit)
Parrot - Hawkins (assuming Norwood not available)

Bench: Cornell, McGuiness, Skuse, Dobra, Bennets, Jackson, Drinan

westleydan added 07:23 - Apr 5
Having not played any decent football in quite some time, this will no doubt be hard work...

braveblue added 07:59 - Apr 5
Against bottom club people suggesting back 5 with Skuse sitting in front!!!! Couldn’t make it up.

chepstowblue added 08:19 - Apr 5
Sorry, but this has a 2-0 Rochdale victory written all over it. A much better side than their position would suggest......and we aren't as good as ours would suggest. It's never a 'must win' until it's a must win, and this isn't a must win. 'Must win' is just a silly little media quote that has crept into the game to make it appear more important than it is. I'll take a draw, because its more than we're likely to get.

Razor added 10:39 - Apr 5
An ugly 1-0 will do and then look at the table

Razor added 10:39 - Apr 5
An ugly 1-0 will do and then look at the table

Fat_Boy_Tim added 10:48 - Apr 5
Crazy negativity. I know that we all have every right to be negative after the football over the last few seasons. On the other hand we have a new manager and he hasn’t the chance of getting us on a run and feeling confident. It’s clear that the players are seeing negatives when in front but if we get a win today, they could start to see some light at the end of the tunnel. COYB

dirtydingusmagee added 11:08 - Apr 5
we cant handle pressure ,and we cant put other teams under pressure ,i predict another riveting edge of your seat battle till the end ......NOT.

tractorboybig added 11:10 - Apr 5
O dear, Rochdale bottom and we cant even be positive for a win, shows what crap evans has created

dirtydingusmagee added 11:16 - Apr 5
with our record this could turn out to be Paul Cooks worst nightmare. Hope im wrong but could be a sleepless night tonight .

Fat_Boy_Tim added 12:10 - Apr 5
If we do win comfortably, I’m not making any predictions, but if we do I bet all these negative posters will say ‘well it’s only Rochdale who are bottom of the league’.

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