harriers-online match preview
14th April 2003 
At Spotland
15/4/03 7:45pm
Harriers are in the Last Chance Saloon now if they want to get into the play-offs this season.  Although we are only 6 points adrift with a game in hand it all depends on other clubs dropping points and the only ones that seem to be doing that are Lincoln City and ourselves.  The clubs actually in the play-off places are all going well and will take some shifting.

Rochdale did us a bit of a favour on Saturday when they came away from York City with a point but I can't see them doing us any favours tomorrow night.

For the game at Spotland they could be without their keeper Michael Gilks after he collided with a post at York and was taken to hospital with concussion.  He'll be facing a brain scan tomorrow morning as a precaution.

They have no other injury worries and should be at full strength.

Under pressure manager, Paul Simpson, merely dabbled in the transfer market on deadline day bringing in keeper Neil Bennett from Bradford City, centre-half Michael Taylor and right-back Darren Hockenhull from Blackburn Rovers to provide cover in case of injury.

Simpson himself must be feeling apprehensive about his future at Rochdale.  He was told by the Rochdale board after the FA Cup game at Wolves that he future was secure and he would be offered a long term contract in recognition of his success.  He's still waiting and now he has the fan's on his back too.

After last Saturday's home defeat against Torquay a large group of them verbally abused him outside the ground, leaving his young family in tears.

Simpson said in response to all this: "I will continue to work as hard as I can to give it my best shot to turn things around.

When I speak to the chairman he assures me that as far as he is concerned the situation hasn't changed.

Hopefully the board will see what I am trying to do here even though the supporters don't appear to do.  I will stick by what I believe is the right way to go and until the chairman comes and shouts 'Simpson out' then I will remain here."

Luckily we have a manager whose job is more secure.  Ian Britton has done a marvellous job here and will almost certainly be here next season unless some other club want him as manager and he feels the chance would be too great to turn down.  Hull City are not that club!

We have no injury worries to speak of after the Oxford game and should be at full strength.  Still no sign of Kenny Coleman though.

It should be interesting to see if Brit has a minor change round tomorrow and gives a game to Scott Stamps and Hugh McAuley.  It's obvious things are still re-miss at the back and a recall for Stamps could be one option.

The other weakness is on the flanks where a well earned rest for Sam Shilton would be a good thing.  It's well known that he will be facing surgery on his knee during the close season so why not give him a bit of a rest now?

So, will we still be in the race at 9:45 tomorrow night.  I hope so.


Harriers from:
Brock, Danby, Scott, Stamps, Coleman, Melligan, Smith, Hinton, Williams, Parrish, Flynn, Shilton, Foster, Bishop, Broughton, Bennett, Henriksen, McAuley.

Rochdale from:
Gilks, N Edwards, Baker, Evans, Griffiths, Doughty, Duffy, Jobson, Grand, Flitcroft, Baker, Beech, Hockenhull, Melaugh, Oliver, D Edwards, Patterson, Connor, Simpson, McCourt, McEvilly, Townson, Taylor, Bennett, Hill, Warner, Platt.
This season Season 01/02 Season 00/01
Harriers 0 - 0 Rochdale
Rochdale 2 - 0 Harriers
Harriers 0 - 0 Rochdale
Harriers 4 - 1 Rochdale
Rochdale 0 - 0 Harriers
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