Marcus Braddock previews the weekend trip to Rochdale
With the weekend creeping ever closer we turn our attentions toward Saturdays football and Shrewsbury Towns trip to Rochdale. To say that Rochdale fans have had a particularly difficult 2019 so far wouldn't be any sort of overstatement. Their season wasn't going particularly brilliantly up until that point but they'd won both Christmas games and might well have been looking forward to the rest of the season. However, on 29th of December they lost 2-1 at home to Bradford and they don't look to have recovered. Since then they've won at Walsall and drawn at home to Fleetwood meaning that they've not won at Spotland since December 29th. They parted company with Rochdale Legend Keith Hill this week, I doubt it was something they did lightly, Keith Hill and Rochdale is as familiar to lower league football fans as fish and chips but when a team is in free-fall like they were, something has to be done.
Form (most recent first)
Top Scorers (league goals)
Ian Henderson 16
Brad Inman 4
Ian Henderson 5
Stephen Dooley 3
Joe Rafferty 3
Five at home and two away from home.
Rochdale home stats
Dale have an average of .88 points in home games and have scored an average of 1.0 goals per game at Spotland. They've conceded an average of 1.9 goals at home and have failed to score on eight occasions at home.
At home they have scored 47% of their goals in the first half and have been starting games quite well with no goals conceded in the first 15 minutes at home all season. They appear to be most vulnerable at the end of the first and second half, conceding 8 at the end of the first and 9 at the end of the second.
Referee - John Brooks from Games this season: 30. Yellow cards: 109. Red cards: 5.
Assistants: Robert Hyde and Shaun Hudson.
Fourth Official: Robert Merchant.
Rochdale midfielder Ethan Hamilton is suspended and Notts Forest loanee forward Zach Clough may miss out because of a groin injury.
Town will be without Anthony Grant who is suspended and Romain Vincalot who is on his way back from a knee injury. Steve Arnold will be assessed closer to the game.
Why do teams always seem to get rid of a failing manager before they play us? It seems to happen more often than it should but then managerial sackings are hardly thin on the ground. At the time of writing a successor to Hill hadn't been found but First team coach Brian Barry Murphy and academy manager Tony Ellis look to be holding the reins and they will be pointing to our away record as encouragement. Having seen how our own caretaker managers did this season we wont need reminding that they can be quite effective and we need to guard against that. We're in dire need of points as much as Rochdale are so we need to be as professional as we can and perform like we know they can for 90 minutes.