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Blackpool might be fresher after free week says Rochdale's Joe Rafferty

Rochdale defender Joe Rafferty
Rochdale defender Joe Rafferty

Rochdale defender Joe Rafferty has suggested Blackpool's free week might give the Seasiders a slight advantage in Saturday's clash at Bloomfield Road.

READ MORE: You have to fight for your place every week at Blackpool says Nathan Delfouneso

Blackpool were due to travel to Gillingham on Tuesday night, but the fixture was arranged until November due to the pitch being relaid at the Priestfield Stadium.

Rochdale, meanwhile, drew 0-0 with Bristol Rovers at home having been forced to play the second 45 minutes with 10 men.

Keith Hill's men, who are 15th in League One, three points behind Blackpool, now prepare to make the short trip to the Fylde coast.

“It’s going to be a tough game at Blackpool. They’ve started very well and they’ve got some good players," Rafferty said.

“They didn’t play on Tuesday night so they might be a bit fresher going into the match, but we’re going to go there and try to win the game.

“Blackpool is always a good place to go, personally I always like going there.

"It’s on my birthday, so it should be a good game. Three points and a goal [for me] would be a good birthday present!”

Dale ended a run of two straight defeats with Tuesday night's stalemate against Bristol Rovers, which Rafferty believes was a good result.

He said: “It’s a good point - we all know it’s a good result,” said Rafferty.

“No matter where you are, when you go down to 10 men, it’s always going to be hard because the opposition have got an advantage, so to keep a clean sheet and come away with a point from the game gives us something to build on. We go again on Saturday.

“We all know that we can do it [keeping clean sheets and defending well], it’s just putting it into practice on the pitch. We all know we’re a good team and what we’re capable of, so we’ve just got to keep working hard and I’m sure that we’ll do well.”