Tag Archives: EFL

Wild Should Be Looking to Strengthen in These Two Key Areas After Oldham’s Chaotic Season

If Peter Wild is given the Oldham managers job at the end of the season, and if he wants it of course, he will no doubt be looking to improve the current squad by getting rid of some of the players who haven’t figured this season and strengthening certain areas where we are in need.

Some would argue that there isn’t a great deal wrong with the squad, it is the person in charge of the club who needs attention but like it or not, Latics will once again be starting a season in the bottom tier and several of the players who have served us well this season are not going to be around.

Top of the shopping list has to be a ‘keeper who is as good as or better than Daniel Iverson. That is going to be no mean feat, given that Daniel has had a terrific season and looked at one stage to be challenging for the record of most clean sheets in a season. Getting a ‘keeper in on loan from a club in a higher division seems to be the most likely option but to do that may mean waiting until the 2019/20 season is almost upon us given that club managers leave it late to decide which is their best team.

The other key area is in attack mainly because of the loss of Callum Lang who returns to Wigan at the end of the season. It could be that Wigan, currently courting with relegation from the Championship might see Lang as a player who could do a decent job in League One should they go down. Whatever happens, Lang deserves to play at a higher level and like Iverson, will not be persuaded to sign for Latics given the perilous state of Oldham’s finances.

Once again, Wild may have to look for a season long loan signing or two as I cannot really believe that Chris O’Grady will still be with the club. Finding attacking players who can weigh in with 20+ goals a season has to be the most difficult of tasks but it will have to be addressed if Latics hold any hopes of getting out of League Two.

There are some who would welcome a period of stability after what has been a crazy season and I’m sure Peter Wild would agree with that.


Bury Must Find a Way to Get Past This in-Form Newport Team

After a spirited second half performance over Colchester last Saturday bringing home a much-needed three points for Ryan Lowe’s side, Bury will need something similar on Good Friday against Newport.

Dom Telford helped resurrect the Shakers promotion hopes, but it will all be for nothing if they suffer a Good Friday defeat in Wales.

Having only lost three times at home in the league this season, whilst reaching the FA Cup fifth round in the process, there has been plenty of positives for Michael Flynn and co, particularly over the past five weeks.

Unbeaten for over a month, spanning five league games, this could be a so-called banana skin for Bury as they hunt down promotion.

The good thing for the Shakers is that they lead the race for the teams looking to steal promotion. The bad news is they can barely afford to lose even one match. From second to fifth- the table looks like this.

Bury 74,

Mansfield 73,

MK Dons 72,

Tranmere 71.

Bury’s last away game is at Tranmere too.

Last Saturday’s win was just what the club needed, following on from the financial drama which still hangs over the club. Ryan Lowe got his players to stand together in a huddle at full time whilst regularly clapped the fans for their support as they sung,’Oh Ryan Lowe’ throughout the game.

However, he, his players and staff are still to be paid as this is written, how long the peace and harmony can be kept up is anyone’s guess. The club will return to court on May 15th with a hefty 200K debt hanging over them. A ‘Just giving page’ has been set up on Twitter to get the staff paid.

Again the hope for all Bury fans is the players can pull thought this fiasco. Lowe has already said that the players will play onto the end of the season without pay if worst comes to worse.

Fans will hope Steve Dale can sought out these ongoing issues, for the fans part, a modest 3,900 crowd last weekend may not have been the dream number they may have wanted either.

That said for the team to throw away promotion would be a great disappointment, although Newport will do their worst. The Exiles return to form sees them only five points off the playoffs and are one of only three top half teams to have not lost any of their past five games.

For Bury however, the race for promotion goes on, with or without pay. How long the players stay unboard with the chairman however remains to be seen.

Rochdale travel to Portsmouth looking to take a step closer to safety

Looking back over the head-to-head meetings between the sides (Stats Via 11v11) the sides have met ten times since 1978. In them matches Rochdale have only managed one win – 2104 – and two draws.

Now in Brian Barry-Murphy’s mind, however much he’d love to win every game, he’d much prefer to take points off the teams in and around them and sacrifice any losses against the likes of Sunderland and Portsmouth.

Nevertheless, the renewed confidence within the squad following only one defeat in his six games in charge, and hoisting themselves out of the League Two relegation zone is there for all to see.

Barry-Murphy has instilled a way to win and got a tune out of a squad of players, who were quite frankly underachieving and under performing under the old regime for most of the season.

An away fixture to a team who have four straight wins under their belt in the league and fighting for a promotion place is not best welcomed. However, Rochdale pushed Sunderland close last week and they can draw experience from that result, alongside the fact they kept a clean sheet in a win mid week in the league since they last played Accrington Stanley back in November.

There are a six points separating 10 places in the league, a couple of wins and Dale could see themselves midtable, however, a couple of losses and they could be back in the relegation zone – it’s that tight.

With games coming up against Southend and Wycombe, who are both on a poor run of results, they are must win matches. So today, even if Dale grab a point it can be seen as a hugely positive result and one that further cements Barry-Murphys amazing turnaround at the club.

Rochdale fans, what do you think the result will be today?

The Rochdale Future Looks Bright Under BBM

I was in the media unveiling of Brian Barry-Murphy at Spotland yesterday. A very happy and relaxed BBM sat there, explaining his vision for the future of Rochdale Football Club.

With overwhelming calls for the ex-player to take the hot seat on a regular basis from many people in and around football, Dale quickly decided that, even after four games, the time was right for the appointment to be made.

BBM’s start to has been impressive, winning two and drawing two after a poor run of form which has led them into the relegation zone.

Rochdale are now within touching distance of safety, and hold a very important game in hand over some of their close rivals. In what should be a thrilling, if not nail-biting end to the season in League One.

Having worked under the old regime, while he learned his trade. BBM has a grasp of the players, the staff and the youth academy already in his arsenal. This has been made apparent by his unbeaten start. He was quick to point out that he would not be making an assistant manager appointment, as he looked to rip up the old styled layered managerial blueprint.

Instead, he is opting for a team of staff to all aid in other ways, and work together as one towards the same goal. Rochdale are a well run club, the timing of the appointment is to start the planning and recruitment process for next season, for either League One or League Two.

It’s refreshing to see a club with foresight to plan for not only all outcomes, but to budget accordingly – especially in light of what is happening at neighbours Bury and Bolton at the moment.

BBM will look to continue Rochdale’s youth development and is eager to see many pass through the ranks in the seasons to come, With him quoting there are many exceptional talents within the youth squad just waiting to be unearthed.

He wants to give the fans performances to be proud of, and hopes the results will follow suit.

I certainly felt a feel good factor within Spotland and one that can hopefully keep transcending onto the field. I think BBM is the man to keep them up and next season good times are ahead for Rochdale.

Rochdale fans, what are your thoughts on the new man in charge?

Bury Stave Off Administration for Now, Curzon Ashton Boss Mark Bradshaw Talks Cup Chances, Rochdale Making Improvements

This is the EFL and Below Show, your look at all the footballing action in Greater Manchester that doesn’t come from Old Trafford or the Etihad.

Manchester Football Social’s Niall McCaughan is joined by Ian Foran and Aaron Benson of the Football Manc Cave for this week’s podcast.

Bury have struggled off the pitch in recent weeks as financial worries surround the club – is there a light at the end of the tunnel at Gigg Lane?

Curzon Ashton manager Mark Bradshaw chats to us as the Nash chase Manchester Premier Cup success for the first time since 1990.

We reflect on Salford’s promotion ambitions and Rochdale’s chances of safety in League One.

Subscribe to the podcast now and never miss a show.

Acast – https://play.acast.com/s/eflandbelowshow/manchesterfootballsocial-eflandbelowshow-burystaveoffadministrationfornowcurzonashtongaffermarkbradshawtalkscupchances-rochdalemakingimprovements

Itunes – https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/manchester-football-social-efl-below-show-bury-stave/id1449475076?i=1000434701033

2/3 of Rochdale Fans Now Believe They Will Now Be Safe Following BBM Impact

Many were anticipating the sacking of Keith Hill at Rochdale, after a run that landed the Dale in the bottom three and looking more and more likely to be playing League Two football next season.

Brian Barry -Murphy was given the job of caretaker manager, and has never looked back since. Having been made permanent manager a week ago following four games in charge, of which he won two and drew two – It seemed the board back the former Dale player.

After winning their all important game in-hand against Accrington this week, Rochdale now are level on games and two points clear of the relegation zone. Furthermore, things are so tight in that bottom half of League One, a couple more wins could actually see Dale hit mid-table with only six points separating 13th – 23rd.

We put a poll out on our Football Manc Cave Twitter (Follow us Here) asking Rochdale fans where they now feel the team will end up come the end of the season.

6% felt the side would still be relegated, 24% thought they could crack on and reach dizzy mid-table heights. However, 70% of fans think the team will just about stay up – I’m sure they won’t want a repeat of last season’s nail biter.

Rochdale, should they stay up this season, could push forward next season under a young and ambitious manager. The results in recent weeks have been a positive step, forward after a largely frustrating campaign up until that point.

BBM can get a tune out of this group of players, with a decent turnover of players in the summer and a full pre-season implementing his style of play. It could certainly make for an exciting 2019/2020 season for the Spotland outfit.

Dale fans, where do you think you could end up next season under Brian Barry-Murphy, lets us know in the comments…

If Oldham Have Faint Hopes Of Reaching the Play-Offs then They Have to Brush Aside Swindon

There are lots of computations in the top third of League Two and rather than relying on some complicated algorithm, coach Peter Wild will be approaching each of the remaining six games with the calm and assured manner which he has come to be associated with.

He has wisely asked for calm heads among players, staff and fans as Latics approach the game against Swindon looking for their fourth win in a row. It is obvious that the team need to get a win against the Wiltshire club who are currently one place and two points above them in the table.

Earlier in the season, the teams managed a goalless draw which would normally be seen as a decent result for the visitors but neither team will be content to repeat it, especially as it might mean that other clubs can move above them. Now is not the time for half measures however, and only points in the bag will do.

Swindon will be as fully aware of this as Athletic and with one less game to play, their plight can be seen to be more urgent.

The game has been made more interesting by the return of ex-Oldham boss Richie Wellens, who described his exit from Boundary Park to the local newspaper as due to the poor playing surface forcing a change in his preferred playing style. As far as Latics fans were aware, he was sacked for being responsible for us dropping into the league’s basement for the first time in 50 years! Still, who can hold their hands up and say they have never been economical with the truth on their CV!

Both clubs are pretty evenly matched in recent form but, that shouldn’t worry Latics who threw the formbook out of the window when they beat Tranmere two games ago.

If Callum Lang can keep up his goalscoring antics backed up by a strong midfield, determined defence and safe hands in goal then there is no reason why Athletic can’t go into the Easter fixtures in a strong position.

The Boundary Park pitch might not presently be as lush as it should be, therefore at least Richie Wellens will have a ready made excuse if his team leave empty handed.

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