Dale defeat is water under Rosler’s bridge

Town lost this season's first meeting against Rochdale
Town lost this season's first meeting against Rochdale

Fleetwood boss Uwe Rosler says Town are a different beast to the one beaten 2-1 at Rochdale earlier this season.

Rosler dubbed that defeat one of the most painful the club has had all season when his side became Rochdale’s first victims of the campaign.

Town were in form as they travelled to Spotland in September and faced a side who had yet to win.

That defeat saw Town have a mini-blip as they went on to lose to MK Dons and Bradford while Keith Hill’s men went on a six-match winning streak.

Now, five months on, Rosler’s men are on a 13-game unbeaten run and are fourth in the table, five points above seventh-placed Rochdale who have two games in hand on Town.

Rosler says that while they are both the league’s surprise packages, a lot of time has passed since that first game and that his men are a more stable unit.

However, he also stressed the importance of making a better start than they did last weekend in their 1-1 draw at Charlton Athletic when they needed a late leveller from Amari’i Bell to clinch a deserved point.

“Keith is a very good manager,” Rosler said of his opposite number.

“Two of the surprising teams in the league, in my opinion, are playing against each other.

“We had a painful defeat at their place; it was completely unnecessary but they were adventurous, they did their homework that day.

“They played strikers as full-backs and we played very narrow in a 4-3-3 and they caused us problems, especially with crosses.

“It was a sunny day, it was warm and we did not perform energy-wise; it started in the warm-up.

“I think that was probably one of the most painful games we have had this season and I also felt, performance-wise, we were far off but since then a lot of water went down the river.

“We dealt with it in the right way because we came back and they dealt with it the right way; now both teams are in the upper half of the table.

“But this time we play at home and this time it is our turn to hopefully get the three points.

“It is the second half of the season, a lot of football has been played, and I honestly can say that we are better now, more stable and we have a good chance to get a result.

“But we need to be at the top of our game and not starting by giving the first 20 minutes away like we did against Charlton.”

Speaking on the availability of injured duo, captain Nathan Pond (knee) and right-back Conor McLaughlin, Rosler said: “Nathan is probably difficult for that one.

“Conor McLaughlin will have a test and then we will see – as far as I know he didn’t have a scan.”