Crook relishing derby final

Rochdale half-back Paul Crook is relishing the chance to play local rivals Oldham in the Kingstone Press Championship One Play-off Final at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday (2.00pm).

Crook landed a last-minute drop-goal to give the Hornets victory over Oldham when the sides met in a play-off encounter on September 15 and he’s expecting another tough contest when they meet again in Sunday’s competition finale .

“It’s fantastic that we’re playing Oldham, it will mean that both teams will raise their games and with it being against our local rivals, it’ll definitely add something to the final,” said Crook.

“It’s a final and both teams will be going all out to get that promotion which is at stake and that promises for a great game and I’m sure the fans will really get behind the team.

“We have stuck to our targets all season. We had a game plan against Oldham in the first match and we will probably use a game plan again at the weekend. As long as we can get on top of their forwards we have a good chance.”

Crook was quick to praise the impact of Rochdale coach Ian Talbot, after the manager had to bring in a plethora of new faces in the close season and Crook says everybody is now targeting the same thing.

“I’ve been here for four years but at the start of the season we had basically an entirely new team. Ian Talbot has made some fantastic signings and we’ve managed to build a side again,” he said.

“I think there’s the perfect blend of old and young players and Ian has done really well to get everybody to gel so quickly.

“Everyone at the club has one goal in mind, that’s promotion to the Championship, and we’ll be going all out to ensure we get that this weekend.”

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