Slide down League Two table will stop with defensive improvements, claims Rochdale boss John Coleman

By Oliver Rhodes

Rochdale manager John Coleman has demanded an improved defensive performance against Exeter City at Spotland on Saturday.

The Dale suffered defeat in their previous two league games and conceded six goals, which has resulted with a fall from the League Two play-off places.

Sitting in ninth and equal on 30 points with the Grecians, Coleman wants Rochdale to stop the slump and fix their leaky defence.

“Bad runs will see you plummet down the table, while good runs will see you climb,” Coleman told the club website.

“I have never known the league to be as tight as it has been this year. It is important to win a couples of games sooner rather than later.

“Two games without a win is a concern, but we have to try and use that to motivate us. Whatever team I put out, they will know what I expect from them.

“Hopefully we will defend a lot better than we have in the last couple of weeks.”

Kevin McIntyre is unavailable for Rochdale after receiving his fifth yellow card of the season in the 3-2 home loss to York City.

But forward Ashley Grimes is looking to return to the pitch after taking a seat on the bench for the last two games.

Coleman said he hopes the hard work in training pays dividends, but also expects a tough contest with Paul Tisdale’s Exeter City.

“Exeter City are a good side and they have a good manager,” he added. “They play some good football and have the same amount of points.

“But it shows they have the same inconsistencies that we have. On the day, whoever performs the best will probably win the game.”

Picture courtesy of Rochdale FC, with thanks

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