Rochdale have a massive uphill challenge if they are going to keep their League One status this season, but a recent improvement in form has given them a chance of survival.
Keith Hill’s Rochdale sit 23rd in League One with 25 points, the joint lowest in the league. Dale are nine points adrift from safety but do have four games in hand on fellow relegation rivals Bury, Oldham Athletic and AFC Wimbledon.
Although survival seems unlikely for Dale a recent improvement in form has given the club a reason to be optimistic, this run has seen Rochdale beat relegation rivals Northampton 1-0 in a must win game for Hill’s side. Following this, Rochdale beat Championship side Millwall in the fourth round of the FA Cup replay which means Dale will face Premiership giants Tottenham Hotspurs.
Keith Hill added experience and talent to his squad in the January transfer window in order to put up a fight to retain their League One status. Rochdale snapped up Stephen Humphrys on loan from Fulham until the end of the season, Humphrys has got experience in Sky Bet League One having had a loan spell with Shrewsbury Town in 2017 where he scored twice in 14 appearances for them.
Rochdale also signed impressive midfielder Mihai Dobre on loan from AFC Bournemouth until the end of the season as well as adding Lincoln midfielder Billy Knott. Hill also made major improvements to his defence by signing Ryan Delaney from Championship side Burton Albion permanently, they also managed to resign former fan favourite Scott Wiseman on loan from League Two Chesterfield. Left back Sam Hart joint the club on loan from Blackburn Rovers.
Rochdale currently have 25 points this season which means they will need around 25 more points to hit the 50 points mark which will give them a chance of survival. Dale’s biggest games of the season are when they battle it out with fellow struggling local rivals Bury and Oldham Athletic, two massive six-pointer matches.
Dale still have the likes of Wigan, Shrewsbury and Bradford left to play so Keith Hill has a tough job on his hands but if they carry on this run they will still have a fighting chance.