Kilshaw and Rochdale ready for ‘game of the weekend’ against Batley

Rochdale coach Alan Kilshaw believes Sunday’s clash with Batley could be the Championship’s game of the weekend.

Hornets are looking to move further away from the Championship relegation zone following victory against Bradford last weekend, and Kilshaw is expecting a much sterner test for his side than earlier in the season.

On that occasion, Rochdale lost a thrilling and controversial encounter 38-34.

“Last time we played Batley we got what we deserved for one reason or another. There’s a bit of talk of revenge in the camp but I think Batley have improved since we last played them,” he said.

“They’ve had a new coach this year and it takes time but some of the things he put in place are being done more consistently.

“They’re a really good side with some top players, we’re focused and confident though.

“It’s going to be a tough game but it’s one we’re looking forward to, it’ll probably be the game of the weekend.”

Kilshaw also expressed his delight with the result against Bradford last week – particularly the enormity of it.

He said: “The magnitude of the win was probably lost on us on the day. We had a young squad out, I think the average age was 23 and we had to do a lot of defending.

“Looking back at the game it’s probably one of the best wins I’ve been involved in during my time at Rochdale so it was very pleasing to get the result.

“Before last weekend we hadn’t played at home for five weeks so it was good to be back and hopefully that’ll have a knock-on effect this week.”