'We've got to win the fight first': Terry McPhillips on Blackpool's tough task against Rochdale

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Terry McPhillips has warned his Blackpool players they’ll have to win the battle against Rochdale to earn three points tomorrow.

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Rochdale, who sit in 15th place in League One, are without a win in their last three games.

However, Keith Hill’s men ended a run of two straight defeats by battling their way to a 0-0 draw at home to Bristol Rovers on Tuesday, having been forced the play the entire second half with 10 men.

Blackpool were also in fine form when they took on Rochdale at the start of last season but they were held to a 0-0 draw on that occasion.

McPhillips said: “If we go back to last season, we played Rochdale here and they were on a bit of a sticky patch. We weren’t on a bad run but they gave us a hell of a game and it finished 0-0.

“We went to watch them on Tuesday against Bristol Rovers, where they got their goalkeeper sent off just on half-time, which I thought was a bit harsh.

“But they still managed to get a draw and they worked their socks off. They’ve got some good players.

“We’re not stupid: we know they’re all hard games. We’ve got to win the fight in any game.

“But we’ll prepare. The lads have watched Rochdale and the lads have trained on the pitch which usually adds something to the sessions.

“So we’re in great spirits and we’re in great form. Now we’ve got to turn these draws into wins in the league.

“There are no walkovers, no gimmes – you’ve got to win the battle first.

“But I think if we can play how we’ve been playing for the majority of the unbeaten run we’re on, then we’re rightly favourites.

“But the lads know in no uncertain terms that they’ve got a hard game ahead of them because Keith Hill is a great manager.

“He’s been doing it a long time, and he’s going to have those lads running and working their socks off. Not just that, they’ve got some good players too.

“It’s a tough game but it’s one where we think that if we play well we can do well enough to get three points.”