Betfred Sport

Rochdale struggling to adapt to promotion billing

League Two side Rochdale risk not being part of the end of season race for promotion if there isn’t a significant improvement in results, according to boss John Coleman.

Coleman left fellow League Two counterparts Accrington Stanley for Spotland towards the end of last season, but couldn’t prevent Dale from being relegated back into the fourth tier of English football.

Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to Burton Albion leaves Rochdale 16th, eight points behind early pacesetters Gillingham.

“It's a horrible start,” Coleman told BBC Radio Manchester. “Five points from five games is a horrible start.”

Despite three of the club's next four league matches being away from home, Coleman is fully aware that performances need to improve as quickly as possible.

Out of the equation

He continued: “If you carry on like that and it goes onto 15 games, you're out of the equation. We've got to put it right and we've got to put it right quick.”

Supporters of the Manchester based club have had to endure a difficult past year with financial uncertainties and eventual relegation from League One and Coleman is determined to repay the fans that have stuck by the club in recent times.

He added: “We owe it to ourselves (to improve results) but, more importantly, we owe it to our fans.

“They've had a torrid 12 months and they don't deserve what they're putting up with. They're being taken from one extreme to the other.

“We've played some great football at times this season and we've played some abject stuff as well, most notably at Torquay, and then against Burton.”

Rochdale face AFC Wimbledon on Saturday before making their first visit to Rotherham’s New York Stadium the following Tuesday.

A return to Spotland to face Dagenham & Redbridge and a tough trip to the table topping Gills, completes a difficult month ahead for Coleman’s side.

By Daniel Ludlam

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