Sport

Rochdale have to improve Spotland form to win backing of fans, claims assistant manager Jimmy Bell

By Oliver Rhodes

Assistant manager Jimmy Bell has echoed John Coleman’s disappointment with Rochdale’s home form and wants an improved performance against Bristol Rovers. 

The Dale are currently in a League Two play-off place, but the club has the worst home record out of the top twelve teams. 

And Bell insists Rochdale must recover quickly to restore the supporters’ faith and push their campaign in the right direction. 

“We have certainly got to improve our home form and we need the backing of the fans,” Bell told the club’s website. 

“It is absolutely killing me and John that we are not showing our potential at home with what we are doing away from home.”

Strikers Bobby Grant and Terry Gornell, along with defender Ryan Edwards, are available for the encounter against low-lying Bristol Rovers after the trio missed the FA Cup defeat to Morecambe. 

“Bobby has come in and been a breath of fresh air,” Bell added. “His goalscoring and attitude on the pitch will bring a lot to us on Saturday.”

Bell also said there would be changes in the first-team with the opportunity for some players to stake their claim. 

However, he warned the players must show great effort and determination to maintain a starting position. 

“We told the players whoever comes into the team must be right and ready to keep the shirt, but a few on Tuesday gifted the shirts back to the manager,” Bell said. 

Despite his disappointment with performances at Spotland, Bell hopes Rochdale will copy the pattern of Coleman’s former teams. 

“We have not performed to our expectations, but John’s team usually do better in the second half of the season,” he added.

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