Back-to-back derby double kicks-off tonight at Dale

Date published: 11 December 2018

A derby double kicks-off for Athletic tonight (Tuesday) as they travel to Rochdale’s Crown Oil Arena for their re-arranged Checkatrade Trophy last 32 tie.

The clash was originally scheduled for last Wednesday, but was postponed to due prolonged afternoon rain.

A victory tonight would hand Frankie Bunn’s team a mouth-watering home last 16 tie against Manchester City’s under-21s side.

Tonight’s game against their League One neighbours will provide a stern test of credentials, but Athletic skipper Peter Clarke is up for the task – and Saturday’s home League Two crunch against in-form Bury – with his team currently on a seven-game unbeaten run.

Clarke, who notched an absolute screamer in Saturday’s 2-0 triumph at Crewe, said: “We're well aware of the fixtures coming over the course of this next week.

“We know there’s plenty of hard work to come and two derby games in the week, but we'll go into the Rochdale game well prepared and looking for the win.”

Clarke reckons the Athletic team are enjoying this good spell of form, but he knows that they can’t get too far ahead of themselves.

“We don't want to get ahead of ourselves because this group and the manager are still in its early days,” added the skipper.

“We knew it wasn't going to click overnight.

“We knew there was plenty of work to be done on the training pitch and everyone's been willing to do that.

“Hopefully now we're seeing some of the benefits of it.”

Don’t forget tonight’s match kicks-off at 7pm.

It’s pay-on-the-day for Athletic supporters at the Crown Oil Arena.

Fans will be situated in the Willbutts Lane Stand.

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