Sport

John Coleman insists Rochdale serve up tough test to League Two shrimpers Southend United

By Aimee Howarth

Rochdale manager John Coleman expects his side to keep climbing the League Two table but admitted their task is a difficult one as they travel to Southend this weekend.

Undefeated in their last six league games, the Dale sit sixth with a game in hand and have a victory over leadersGillinghamand a draw with second-placed Port Vale to their name.

But as they face Southend, who are only two places and one point below them, Coleman conceded that each match in the battle for promotion will be a test for his side.

“It will be a tough game,” he told BBC Radio Manchester.

“But I’ve said all season that as long as we can give other teams a tough game and give ourselves a chance to win, we won’t complain when we come off.

“We beat ourselves up when we let ourselves down.

“The squad have got to try and lift each other, push each other all the way and get the best for the club.”

Rochdale boast the second best record on the road in the league – bettered only by Gillingham– and have won five of their nine away matches.

They have no new injury concerns for the visit to Southend, with Dele Adebola, Terry Gornell and Bobby Grant all likely to play following last weekend’s 2-1 victory over Bristol Rovers.

And while impressed by most of his side’s performances this season, Coleman insisted they must continue to work hard to push up the places.

“If I’m honest, I think we should be higher,” he told the club website.

“Sometimes games just get away from us and certainly at home that’s been the case.

“We’ve got a long, hard slog from now to the end of the season to get to where I think we deserve to be.

“It going to be difficult but the players know that they have at times set benchmarks that they always have to aspire to.

“As long as they stick to that and keep trying to improve I think we’ve got a chance.”

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