Posh boss is wary of dangerous Dale

They may be in the Sky Bet League One relegation zone, languishing in the depths of the current form table, and without a home win for more than five months, but Posh manager Darren Ferguson insists Saturday’s trip to Rochdale is a ‘very dangerous’ game for his side (March 20, 3pm).

By Jeremy Casey
Thursday, 18th March 2021, 7:56 am
Reece Brown in action for Posh against Rochdale in December.
Reece Brown in action for Posh against Rochdale in December.

The Posh boss is wary of the threat that Dale will provide at Spotland, especially as the Greater Manchester side will have been boosted by their impressive and much-needed win at third-placed Lincoln City last weekend.

Brian Barry-Murphy’s men were 2-1 winners at Sincil Bank against Michael Appleton’s fast-fading Imps, thanks to goals from Oliver Rathbone and Stephen Humphrys.

It was their first win for 10 matches, and only their second since they trounced Wigan Athletic 5-0 way back on December 15.

Ethan Hamilton should be back in action for Posh at Rochdale.

You have to go even further back for the last time Rochdale secured a win on home soil, when they recorded a 2-1 win over Fleetwood Town on October 3.

It is a run of form that has seen Dale stay in and around the relegation zone for most of the season, but they go into Saturday’s clash with Posh still with a great chance of survival.

They are second bottom in League One, but only three points adrift of safety, and Ferguson is anticipating a difficult afternoon for his promotion chasers.

“Rochdale won against Lincoln on Saturday, and you look at the bottom of the table and it is a real scrap down there,” said the Posh boss, who saw his side claim a hard-fought 1-0 win over Portsmouth on Tuesday night.

“There are not many teams with nothing to play for, and Saturday is a very, very dangerous game for us.

“Rochdale will be fighting for their lives, they have got a real confidence booster from the weekend, and I have watched the game against Lincoln and they were very good in it.

“They are a very good footballing team.

“I have looked at them and will continue to do that and we will prepare for the match properly.

“The players will be going up overnight for the game, and we have got a big week ahead of us.

“We will just focus on Rochdale for now, but certainly Tuesday night’s win was a big result for us.”

Sammie Szmodics missed the victory over Pompey and is a doubt for the weekend, although Ferguson says he does ‘have a chance’ of making it. Ethan Hamilton returns from suspension.

Posh beat Rochdale 4-1 at the Weston Homes Stadium in December.