Rochdale provide the opposition for Paul Warne’s Rotherham United at the AEESEAL New York Stadium on Saturday in Sky Bet League One. We take a look at who the Millers are facing in our opposition analysis….
In the Dugout
Keith Hill will be managing Rochdale on Saturday. As a player, he represented Blackburn Rovers, Plymouth Argyle, Rochdale, Cheltenham Town, Wrexham and Morecambe, making over 400 career appearances spanning over sixteen years.
When retiring in 2003, he became Director of Youth at Rochdale before taking the manager’s job in December 2006 following the sacking of Steve Parkin. After narrowly missing out in the Play-offs in consecutive seasons in League Two, he guided Rochdale into League One through the automatic places. He left in 2011 after being given permission to speak with Barnsley where he spent a season and a half before re-joining Rochdale in 2013, where he has remained since.
Rochdale come into this game in the relegation places in 23rd, nine points adrift from safety but have four games in hand due to their incredible FA Cup run.
However, the visitors come to Rotherham in high spirits after beating Walsall away 3-0 last time out. Goals from James McNulty, Ian Henderson and Mihai Dobre sealed all three points for Rochdale in the midweek third tier encounter. In their last five games though, they held Tottenham to a 2-2 draw before being knocked out of the FA Cup in a 6-1 defeat in the replay at Wembley. In the league their recent results include a 0-0 draw with MK Dons and a narrow 1-0 defeat against high-flying Wigan.
This is the 73rd meeting between these sides with Rotherham winning 36 times. Rochdale have prevailed 22 times and there have been 14 draws. Rochdale haven’t won at Rotherham since September 2012.
The last meeting between the two sides came in October 2017, when a goal from Richard Wood sealed the three points for the Millers in League One at the Crown Oil Arena.
Ones to Watch
Our Ones to Watch start with goalkeeper Josh Lillis. The experienced shot-stopper joined Rochdale on a permanent deal in 2012 following two separate loan spells at Rochdale from Scunthorpe United. He has amassed over 200 appearances for the Dale and they can call upon American understudy Brendan Moore, who they acquired from Torquay United in the off-season.
In defence, Jim McNulty brings a wealth of experience to the Dale rearguard. The former Scotland U17 and U19 defender scored last week against Walsall and has experience with Brighton and Barnsley. He is partnered by Republic of Ireland U21 player Ryan Delaney. He signed from Burton in January 2018 following a league and cup double success on loan at Cork City.
In the engine room, Dale have a variety of options which include Academy graduate Andy Cannon and former Manchester United youth player Oliver Rathbone. Rochdale can also call upon on loan midfielder Brad Inman and Joe Thompson.
Millers’ fans will be aware of Dale captain Ian Henderson, who enjoyed a loan stint at Millmoor earlier in his career. He found the net last week against Walsall and has been a regular on the scoresheet this season, which included a goal in their historic 2-2 draw with Tottenham. He is likely to be partnered with on loan Romanian forward Mihai Dobre who also scored against Walsall last week.