Sport

‘Eradicate errors’: Rochdale boss John Coleman wants improvements ahead of AFC Wimbledon test

By Ed Owen

John Coleman believes Rochdale’s defensive problems will have to be eradicated if they are to get a result at struggling AFC Wimbledon.

After suffering a 1-0 defeat to Burton Albion at Spotland last Saturday, John Coleman has warned his players that to continue the dismal form that has defined their ‘horrible start’ at Wimbledon would be disastrous.

Rochdale were relegated from League One last season and had expected to feature in the League Two play-off picture.

However, a series of poor performances, including only one win in five games, means they now occupy a disappointing 16th place.

“Five points from five games is a horrible start,” Coleman told BBC Radio Manchester. “If you carry on like that and it goes on to 15 games, you’re out of the equation.

“We’ve got to put it right and put it right quick.”

The chance to make amends comes against a Wimbledon side languishing in 21st position after a poor run of results that has seen them concede fifteen goals in the last four games.

But the manager refuses to believe the match will be anything close to a foregone conclusion, feeling that if his side need to concentrate more at key moments if they are to get a result.

“Wimbledon will be a tough game like every game in this league is. I’ve always said I want to give teams tough games and I don’t think we gave Burton a tough enough game on Saturday so hopefully we can rectify that this weekend.”

“We are capable of defending well as a team but we are going to sleep at times and that is something which has to be eradicated.’

It is hoped new signing Bobby Grant can help stop Dale’s current slide by opening his Rochdale account at the third time of asking.

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