THE sight of the name ‘Bergkamp’ on Rochdale’s roster could cause panic among those members of Sheffield United’s first-team squad possessing nervous or uninformed dispositions.
Fortunately, as Richard Cresswell points out, such weaknesses are now rare among a group of players who are once again enjoying themselves after experiencing the embarrassment and ignominy of relegation.
“There’s a good mood in the camp now,” said Cresswell. “I think it’s fair to say that we’re playing with a smile on our faces again.
“Obviously we wish we hadn’t have gone down last season. But the fact is that we did, it happened and we have to come to terms with it.
“When things aren’t going well then it’s inevitable the atmosphere behind the scenes isn’t going to be the best because no-one is happy.
“We were still a tight bunch but with getting better results it’s definitely improved again and is back to where it was when I first came to the club.”
The Bergkamp in question is, of course, Roland; the 20-year-old nephew of Dennis rather than the Dutch master himself.
Although the Holland under-21 international is unlikely to soar to the same sporting heights as his famous uncle, Berkgamp is making some
thing of a name for himself in the lower leagues after joining Rochdale on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion.
Described by Gus Poyet as a “top-class player in waiting”, the former Excelsior striker has made two starts since arriving at Spotland.
“The name is going to bring plenty of memories but we ask people to forget that,” Poyet, the Brighton manager, said. “Roland is a totally dif
ferent player. The new scouting has recognised him as a youngster with lots of potential who should fit well into an English system.
“We hope that he will adapt as quickly as possible.”
Cresswell, who hopes to retain his place in United’s starting 11 alongside Ched Evans for tomorrow’s League One fixture, revealed manager Danny Wilson will ensure his charges are well-briefed on the threats Rochdale pose.
“I’d say the gaffer and his
staff have done really well,” Cresswell said. “They drummed it into us when they came in at the start of the season that there was no point in dwelling on what had gone before.
“They made sure everyone was fully focused on the job in hand.
“There’s a good balance between working on what the opposition do but also making sure there’s an even bigger focus on what we are capable of doing ourselves.
“Our strengths and doing what we are good at.
“It’s an enjoyable place to be and that’s one of the reasons for it.”
United had hoped James Beattie would be in line to be named on the bench after being forced to withdraw from last weekend’s FA Cup triumph over Torquay due to a calf injury.
However, he failed to feature during Wednesday evening’s 1-1 draw with Port Vale in the Central League.
Johnny Ertl was on target for the visitors.
“Having someone of James’ calibre around can only enhance us as a club,” Cresswell said. “It’s good to have him here and hopefully he can get ready as quickly as he possibly can.”
Meanwhile, Sunday’s charity football match in aid of the Karl Darby fund has been cancelled due to a waterlogged pitch at Sheffield FC.
Robert Page, Bob Booker and Craig Short had been set to appear for the United Legends XI.
One to watch
Brian Barry-Murphy. The former Sheffield Wednesday midfielder will be determined to get one over on his old Steel City foes. An experienced operator in the lower leagues following spells with Southend, Hartlepool and Bury.
United have won both of their previous encounters with Rochdale, triumphing 3-1 at Bramall Lane in May 1982 following a 1-0 success at Spotland earlier that year.
Teams and ref
United (possible): Simonsen, Lowton, Maguire, Collins, Williams, Doyle, Montgomery, Williamson, Quinn, Cresswell, Evans (4-4-2).
Rochdale (possible): Lucas, Holness, Holden, Jordan, Barry-Murphy, Kennedy, Jones, Bunn, Grimes, Adams, Bergkamp (4-4-2).
Dean Whitestone: The Northamptonshire official sent off two Sheffield United players during his last appointment involving the South Yorkshire club with Darius Henderson and Lee Williamson both seeing red during a 3-0 defeat at Watford in March. Averages 3.29 cautions per game this term.