Rochdale will be coming to Aggborough tomorrow hoping to get their 7th win in a row. A couple of months ago they were stuck at the wrong end of the table, just like we are now, and thinking that they were going to be in for a hard slog. Gates were falling and the fans were crying out for blood.
So what happened to make them go on this truly brilliant run all the way up to eighth place in the table and on the edge of the play-offs?
One of the answers must be Grant Holt. Signed from Sheffield Wednesday at the start of this year he has banged in fifteen goals so far this season for Dale and a total of nineteen since he joined the club.
He'll have to be well marked by new signing Simon Weaver if we want to stop him adding to his tally against us. Simon joined us yesterday from Lincoln City via Macclesfield, where he had been on loan. Abdou Sall is the one that's expected to make way for him and the other new signing, Chris Beardsley, will take over where the now departed Darryn Stamp left off. Stamper Mk2 scored in his final game for us at Yeovil.
Also expected to sign for us later on today is Richard Walker from Bristol Rovers. This former Aston Villa and Blackpool striker first played against us at Northampton last season after he had just joined them on loan. He was then rumoured to be coming to Aggborough at the start of the season but opted to sign for Rovers instead.
He has not been a regular at Bristol but did play against us in both the League and LDV games earlier in the season.
The game tomorrow might be the last one that Ryan Clarke will play for us but with John Danby still some way off being ready for a return to the side I think he'll have the loan extended for a further month just to be sure.
I don't believe that we had any injuries on Tuesday night so, apart from Danby, Hazell and Christie, we might be able to pick from an almost full squad for the first time in ages. Rochdale also seem to be injury free with only keeper Neil Edwards to worry about. He's been out injured with a groin strain, picked up on the 10th November, but was on the bench for last weeks FA Cup game for Dale.
With these new signings we are starting to look a bit stronger now and after Tuesdays decent performance there looks to be some kind of light on the horizon.
It's about time that Rochdale lost a game. Will we be the first team in ages to inflict a defeat on them?
Ryan Clarke, Danby, Lewis, Burton, Beswetherick, Sall, Weaver, Bennett, Hatswell, McHale, Advice-Desruisseaux, Jenkins, Keates, Matias, Beardsley, Gleeson, Foster, Russell.
Edwards, Gilks, Evans, Gallimore, Cooksey, Griffiths, Burgess, Bertos, Holt, Tait, Jones, Goodall, Heald, McCourt, Jamie Clarke, Townson, Atieno, McGivern, Gibbins, Warner.