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Appleton Writes in the Rochdale Programme

3 September 2016

The Head Coach's programme notes for Rochdale

Welcome back and a warm welcome to everyone who has made the trip down from Rochdale this afternoon.
 
There has been plenty going on at the club this week with new faces as well as progress in the new Checkatrade Trophy.  Wednesday saw Transfer Deadline Day and two new players in the building in the shape of Charlie Raglan and Marvin Johnson. They follow hot on the heels of Ryan Ledson and give us three very exciting new players as the transfer window closes until January. Because of the rule changes this season it was vital that we added players to strengthen right now.
 
Ryan is very talented; the fact he has been away with the England under 20s this week shows you that. He is a combative player who loves a challenge and as I said at the time he could allow us to move things around a little in the middle of the park in terms of shape and the way we play.
 
Charlie played against us on the first day of the season for Chesterfield and was his usual aggressive self and once we knew we were struggling and might be without Christian Ribeiro, Curtis Nelson, Aaron Martin and Joe Skarz all at the same time we felt Charlie would be a great signing as he has plenty of experience in this division.
 
Finally, late on Wednesday we were able to complete the signing of Marvin Johnson from Motherwell. It has taken us about two months to get to that stage but Deadline Day always seems to delay things that extra little bit. Marvin is fast, direct and the sort of player that lifts fans off their seats. I am sure you will make all three of them more than welcome today.
 
It gives us serious competition for places, especially after Tuesday night’s win over Exeter. We gave players the chance to impress and they took it really well. I was a little but frustrated when it went back to 2-2 because we stopped doing what had got us 2-0 up in the first place. But I liked the way the players got angry at themselves and put things right, ending up comfortable winners, boosting confidence as any win does, and giving me lots to think about as I select the team for today. I don’t mind having those decisions to make and it almost feels like the season is properly starting to get under way now, with tables making more sense and everything starting to settle down.
 
Off the pitch I see that it’s Retro Day so I’m sure there will be a few old kits and scarves floating about. It all adds to what should be a good game of football played in a really positive atmosphere.
 
Enjoy the game,

Michael

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