Rochdale currently sits 19th in League One, after picking up just one point from their last five League One games.
Although, their league position doesn’t reflect their performances. Whenever I’ve watched The Dale this season, they’ve been by far the better side. Brian Barry-Murphy has a young side playing positive, attractive football.
Even if Rochdale don’t mount a serious challenge for the top six, they can still be proud of the football they are playing, which provides hope for the future.
For example, the home game against Sunderland was one-way traffic. Rochdale dictated possession, opened up Sunderland time and time again, but couldn’t find the goal. The Black Cats had a couple of shots and scored both.
If Rochdale is competing and outplaying a side of their quality, they have nothing to worry about. A little more luck and quality, they’d have won that game comfortably.
The majority of their goals have surprisingly come from midfielders Callum Camps, Stephen Dooley and Aaron Morley. The focus for the rest of the season must be to start feeding striker Ian Henderson with more chances. The 34-year-old scored 20 goals last campaign, a brilliant return for a side that struggled for most of the season.
Their season rests on Henderson. If he can hit a hot streak and bag double figures, who knows, they could even make a late run for top six. If I was a Rochdale fan, I’d be happy with the start they’d made.
Although they’d like more points on the board, they’re playing good football and once Henderson starts banging goals in, they’ll fly up the league. It’ll be interesting to see if the owners back the manager in January, do they have the ambition to push for the top six?