We cannot thank this week’s contributor enough for the latest offering of the growing in popularity TRASH TALK. We hooked up with the thirty something Rochdale AFC fan Adam Gilmour shortly before this game was scheduled to take place and then of course COVID-19 struck the Rochdale camp and it had to be cancelled. We of course realised that some of the questions we asked back then are not so up to date or relevant, so Adam agreed to go through the whole process again and answer another set of questions, so Adam, thanks so much you are a top guy. We have to say before we press on with your interview how much we will miss coming up to the Spotland Stadium and of course a welcome visit to the chip shop in Willbutts Lane. Good luck for the rest of the season, it certainly looks like a roller-coaster ride with the number of goals in your recent games.
We are now well into the season, has it gone about how you thought it would for your club this season so far?
I would say probably as expected, if not a little bit better. We were favourites to go down when the season started, and at time of writing, we are digging in around 18th-20th.
Like many clubs, we lost a lot of first-team players at the tail end of last season, because the financial uncertainty around coronavirus meant we could not renew their contracts. So, several key players you have likely come to associate with us over recent seasons, including Ian Henderson and Callum Camps, were released at the end of their contracts.
We did manage to keep a few key players, and we have made some decent signings, but as a squad we have had a lot of injuries, so it’s been difficult getting that consistency.
Overall, we’ve had some good results in matches I expected to lose but have fallen short in some we should be winning.
Loads of wacky high scoring games recently though so it has been entertaining.
Where do you think your club will finish up in the league this season?
Being hopeful, I would say around 16th-18th. But I would bite your hand off if you offered me a 20th finish right now.
What has been your best result this season, and of course your worst?
The 5-0 against Wigan was a good night for us, and we got a decent result against Plymouth (4-0). It was nice to get a last-minute winner over Fleetwood earlier on in the season as well, as we’ve had a few tense clashes with them over the past couple of seasons.
The 4-1 loss at Peterborough was a rough day, but after the 6-0 hammering we got off them last season, that was always going to be a difficult one mentally.
The 4-1 loss to Gillingham at home was horrendous. That fixture usually tends to be a closer run thing.
Do you think your club has acted well towards the fans in terms of compensation, offers and discounts for season ticket holders?
Yes, absolutely. At the end of last season, the club gave fans quite a few options. For the remaining six unplayed home games, fans had a choice of either: getting a refund; turning their unused tickets into a transferable ticket for this season to donate to a Rochdale based keyworker; getting six iFollow match passes for this season; or just donating the money to the club.
This season, Greater Manchester has been in either tier 3 or we’ve been in national lockdown for the whole time. So, watching games sofa surfing. But when the restrictions were announced in September, the club gave fans a choice again: convert your ticket into an iFollow match pass until fans are allowed in again; or get a refund.
Which opposition team that you have played has impressed you the most this season?
I would say Lincoln. Really well organised and had an answer for everything we tried. We didn’t get a look in in that game.
Which player has stood out for your team this season, and which player has come through the ranks and looks a real prospect?
Matty Lund has been particularly good since he came back. Jimmy Keohane has played in a few different positions for us to cover injuries. Steven Humphrys is now leading the charge upfront and proving very capable.
Hayden Roberts, who we have on loan from Brighton for the season, is a special player in the making. Just the level of confidence and composure he has at the age of 18, is incredible.
And Kwadwo Baah is one to keep an eye on, future Champions League material that lad.
Which MK Dons player stands out to you as a game changer in our clash?
There’s a couple that have the ability to cause us problems. I would say Scott Fraser is settling in quite well for you. He’s quite intelligent with his movement and I saw him scoring a goal the other week on Quest from a ridiculously tight angle, and obviously Cameron Jerome being the experienced striker he is. He’s got a few for you so far this season as well.
What style of play can we expect to see from your team?
We generally like to get the ball down and pass it around and playing out from the back. We used to try and control games with possession from the first whistle, but recently we’ve been starting games at a much higher tempo – so it makes for pretty wild viewing. After 20 minutes we’re either 3-1 up or 3-0 down. So probably an idea for anyone watching from home to have a blood pressure monitor on standby.
Have you ever been to Stadium MK, if so, what’s your opinion on it?
I haven’t yet but I want to. I did alright last season getting to away games but sadly couldn’t make it to MK, because it was Tuesday night and I had work. It’s an impressive looking stadium.
Where do you think the MK Dons will finish in the league table?
I would say somewhere close to us (between 15th and 20th).
From what you have seen, who are your tips for the league title, promotion, and relegation?
Automatic promotion – I would say Hull and Lincoln.
Lincoln didn’t give us a chance the other week, they were very solid – so them two if they can keep up their form.
Earlier in the season I would’ve said Sunderland, but I think now I’d go with Posh for the playoff winner spot, I think it’s their time.
Relegation – I would go with Wigan and Burton.
I’ve a feeling that despite the good start they made, Northampton might not fare as well in the second half of the season, and I reckon Wimbledon would be my other pick.
Can you give us your match prediction?
Tough one because we traded wins last season, and it’s impossible predicting a Dale result at the minute. There’ll be goals for sure. Lots and lot of goals. Drama. Joy. Despair. Swearing at the screen. Fists being pounded against the living room carpet. I’m gonna say 3-3.