Punching above their weight: Rochdale’s competitive edge keeping them in League One hunt, says Beech

Rochdale assistant manager Chris Beech has called for his players to maintain their competitive edge for Barnsley’s visit to Spotland on Saturday.

Keith Hill’s Rochdale are flourishing in League One, sitting fifth in the table after a productive September where they notched five wins from six games, scoring 15 goals in the process.

Beech was speaking to Dale Player about coping with the demands of the division, and is keen to replicate the determination displayed in their 3-2 win over Leyton Orient last weekend.

“It’s a competitive edge that we really want to hold onto,” he said.

“The players understand that they need elements within every day to keep them ready for Saturday when it matters. Every day is classed as a development day to get better.

“We know that we have to be at our best whoever we play in this League because it punishes you when you are not.”

Rochdale will be without Ashley Eastham through suspension, but there will be a welcome return for Joe Rafferty who is coming back from a ban of his own.

Struggling Barnsley are next up for Keith Hill’s side, with his former team languishing in 21st place having won only twice this season.

Hill was dismissed from his position at Barnsley mid-way through the 2011/2012 season, and his old side are struggling to adjust to League One after relegation last season.

When asked about Saturday’s opposition, Beech said: “All our concentrations are on Barnsley, which is our next challenge in front of us.

“Barnsley are a very good club, with good financial backing – they’ve recruited and they’re looking to recruit as we speak.”

These recruits include Australian Ryan Williams who has been signed on a one-month loan from Fulham, with the winger potentially earning a starting place at the weekend.

As well as being busy in the loan market, current Barnsley manager Danny Wilson found time to praise opposite number Keith Hill  and his team when speaking to the Tykes’ official website.

Wilson said: “He’s done very, very well at Rochdale. He seems to fit there. He produces very good football teams.

“Will there be an added spice to it? I don’t know. From my point of view, we’re going up against a very good side.”

Main image courtesy of Official Rochdale AFC via YouTube, with thanks.

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