ROCHDALE’S Stephen Jordan will be looking to prove a point at Bramall Lane tomorrow.
The former Sheffield United defender returns to South Yorkshire with his new club following a disappointing spell on the books of their fifth-placed opponents.
Jordan, who is known to have endured a difficult relationship with several members of United’s previous regime, arrived at Spotland on non-contract terms after being released by Danny Wilson’s predecessor, Micky Adams, in April.
“I’m enjoying my football at the moment,” Jordan said. “I’ve got to thank (manager) Steve Eyre and (assistant) Frank Bunn for bringing me in.
“They set us out to play the right way and we’ve got some good players so hopefully we’ll start pushing up the table soon.”
Although professional obligations prevent Jordan from saying so, there can be little doubt the full-back will be determined to deliver an impressive display against United.
Having rejected an opportunity to join Portsmouth in August last year, he duly signed a one-year deal at Bramall Lane only to be jettisoned eight months and three managers later.
Eyre, a successful youth-team coach at Manchester City before replacing Keith Hill at Rochdale, endured a difficult start to his managerial career.
But, despite failing to win any of their opening six fixtures in League One this term, the visitors have now climbed-out of the relegation zone and travel west 20th in the table.
“Obviously we’re still very much a work in progress but I think we’ve produced some good open play at times and there is a fair bit of craft about us,” Eyre said.
“We recognised the need to become more solid and we addressed that a few weeks ago. But we’re still not solid enough for my liking and we’re working in improving that.
“The first few months of the season have seen some wasted opportunities to take points from certain matches through mistakes and loose play.
“But we have made some personnel changes for the better over the last month or so.
“There have been some things we can pat ourselves on the back for and there have been other things that we look at now and say ‘we wouldn’t do that again.’
“I’m my own fiercest critic and I will continue striving towards improvement.”
Despite insisting he is “happy” to experience the other side of the footballing coin after swapping the Etihad Stadium for the more unpretentious charms of life in the Roch Valley, Eyre is happy to exploit his contacts at City. “Obviously the link we have there is strong and we have an inside track there,” he added.
“I’d probably agree with anybody who said that City would always be the first place I’d look but it would not be the last either. I’d like to think they would look at us as somewhere they’d consider sending players who needed developing.”