Behind Enemy Lines: Rochdale

MILLWALL are aiming to progress to the fifth round of the FA Cup for the second consecutive season after last year's heroics against three Premier League sides brought them to the last eight.

On Saturday they face League One Rochdale who sit 23rd in the third tier currently – nine points from safety.

Coming off of their first away win of the season, at Leeds, the Lions will be confident of going through.

Boss Neil Harris is expected to make a number of changes, with the league the obvious priority for Millwall and two Championship fixtures in five days next week.

Rochdale manager Keith Hill could also make changes to his side, as league survival is their only main goal this season.

They lost 2-1 to Gillingham last Saturday week, before their game against Southend last weekend was postponed.

Lucas Ball spoke to Rochdale fan and Coral PR Manager John Hill this week.

Twitter: @johnhillsport

Why do you support Rochdale?

I was born in Rochdale and despite having Manchester United and Manchester City on our doorsteps, I resisted the temptation of going down the road to watch the big guns in action.

What’s been your favourite season supporting Rochdale?

It would have to be the 2009-10 season as we achieved our first promotion in 41 years. We had been in the basement division for so long it became known as the Rochdale division.

We beat Northampton 1-0 at Spotland to secure promotion to League One and it was such a special feeling – the kind of moments you live for as a football fan.

Where do you expect Rochdale to finish this season?

I am staying optimistic and I am hoping we can finish just above the drop zone. We have a lot of work to do though as results need to improve fast.

I still believe we have a lot of talent in the squad, they are just lacking in confidence. There are a lot of points to play for so we will be fighting until the end.

What impact will the game versus Southend being postponed have?

I think the Southend postponement will give the players some much-needed rest. We played a lot of football over the Christmas and New Year period.

Unlike Pep Guardiola at Manchester City (who was complaining about his schedule), we don't have a squad of 30+ players to rotate.

I am sure the players will be up for this tie and they will be desperate to cause an upset.

Who will Keith Hill's danger men be on Saturday?

Our captain Ian Henderson is a player who has the ability to be playing at a higher level. Not only has Hendo got goals in him, you will often see him drop back into midfield to try and instigate a drive up the field.

One of our brightest young players is Callum Camps – who scored twice against Millwall last season, in the 3-2 win at The Den and 3-3 draw at Spotland – who will be in the centre of midfield .

Likewise, which Millwall players will Rochdale be keeping a watchful eye on?

As proved against Leeds at Elland Rd, the Lions have plenty of goals in them. Our back-line is going to have a busy afternoon dealing with Lee Gregory.

What’s your predicted Rochdale starting XI and formation?



Ntlhe McNulty Daniels

Hart Camps Kitching Cannon


Andrews Done

Finally, a score prediction?

Millwall 1-2 Rochdale (I am hoping for some of that Magic of the FA Cup!)

Graphic: @ShedCreative