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Oxford United boss prepared for Dale's technical test
EACH opponent provides a slightly different type of challenge and Oxford United are expecting a footballing test when Rochdale visit tomorrow.
After taking four points from home games against a rugged Bury and resilient Wycombe, the feeling is Keith Hill’s men will come to play.
U’s boss Chris Wilder sees similarities with his side, where the intention is to play through – rather than over – teams.
He said: “I don’t think they’ll be a team that sits back, they will play wherever.
“It’s similar to us, we don’t set up away any more conservatively than we do at home – we go for the three points and that’s what they’re like.
“Both full backs like to get forward, they have very good midfield players that want to pass it and whatever system they use they will want to keep the ball and have plenty of movement at the top of the pitch.
“Keith came in during the middle of last season and is still implementing his ideas.
“They are a technical side who will want to come and play on our really nice pitch.”
It was a test United passed with flying colours when the sides met at the Kassam just four months ago, running out 3-0 winners.
In theory they should relish taking on a side built on a similar philosophy, but Wilder said: “You have to be competent with any type of opposition.
“If teams want to chuck it on us you have to be able to cope and play your own game.
“If teams want to come and play football you have to handle it and play how you want.”
He added: “Our process is always the same.
“We’ll concentrate on what we can do better and recognise the threats the opposition pose and give the players an insight into what’s coming.
“We look forward to hopefully maintaining our position at the top of the league.”
While Dale will arrive under some pressure following 1-0 defeats in all three of their away games in league and cup, their hosts have sprinted out of the blocks.
Wilder said: “Some teams split the season into months, others look at blocks of fixtures and we go game-to-game.
“If you look at the calendar month it’s been a testing five games.
“To get a win, which we’re all after, would represent an excellent first month.”
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