02:00PM, Monday 04 December 2017
SLOUGH Town’s management team have done their homework, and have plans in place to counter Rochdale’s threat in tonight’s televised FA Cup clash.
Neil Baker and Jon Underwood will be doing all in their power to keep the players detached from the hype surrounding Monday’s second round tie at Arbour Park, as well as the third round draw which precedes kick-off.
With players returning from injury they should be in pretty good shape to take on a Rochdale side that hasn’t won away from home since April and is languishing at the wrong end of League 1.
Having said that Baker is aware of just how tough it will be for the Rebels to cause an upset.
“Manny Williams will probably be an impact player from the bench on Monday,” Baker said last week.
“Brad Wadkins’ MRI scan has shown there is no tear on his meniscus, so I’d expect him to put himself forward and Alan Inns should train with us this week.
“Chris Flood will also be fit so we’re not in too bad shape. However, we do have a few players who haven’t kicked a lot of footballs in four or five weeks.”
Baker watched Rochdale in their most recent league game, a 2-0 home win over play-off contenders Peterborough United, and while their most recent form has been patchy at best, he knows they’ll have plenty of quality players in their ranks – and, perhaps more importantly – a professional attitude and discipline.
Keith Hill's side are 19th in League One, and out of the relegation zone on goal difference alone, so perhaps this isn’t the worst time for the Rebels to play them.
A section of their own support even called for Hill to be sacked during their win over Peterborough on Saturday last week (November 25)
“They’ve got some big boys in that side,” he said. “And you can see why they are professionals.
“I saw them play Peterborough, who are in and around the play-offs and they beat them 2-0 which was a great result for them.
“They played well and deserved to win the game. Tuesday’s game against Doncaster in the Checkatrade Trophy was a lower priority for them, but they got through on penalties.”
Coverage of tonight’s tie starts from 7pm on BT Sport 1, with the match set to kick off at 7.45pm, after the third round draw has been completed.
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