IT is D-Day. D for Dale. D for Destiny.At stake: Plymouth Argyle’s 93-year membership of the Football League.
Another D – a draw against former Pilgrim Keith Hill’s mid-table Rochdale – would see the Pilgrims live to fight another season in League 2.
Yet another D – defeat – would make that outcome contingent on results from four other matches involving five similarly threatened clubs.
“It’s a massive game,” said Argyle manager John Sheridan.
“We definitely don’t want to be going out of the Football League. What’s at stake is really huge, especially for a club of this size.
“It’s in our own hands. We know that, if we can go and get something, we’re safe, and that’s what I’ll be instilling into the players.
“Hopefully, things will go our way in other games, but the teams at the bottom are all fighting for the same cause and they’re all getting results.
“We’ve just got to look after ourselves.”
John takes heart from recent performances by his players that sees the Pilgrims sit fourth in a League 2 form-table drawn up over the last eight matches. Rochdale, who are destined to finish the season in mid-table whatever happens against Argyle, are 11th.
“I’m not putting any pressure on [the players],” he said. “We’ve just got to carry on playing the way that we’ve been playing.
“We’ve played really well over the last eight, nine, ten games, and I’ve been really impressed with the way that we’ve improved.
“We should have even got more from the games that we lost so we’ve got to take that standard of performance into the game against Rochdale and I’m sure we’ll get something.
“They’re playing for nothing and that could be bit of a downer for us.
“They’re a good footballing side – Keith Hill always has them playing football – but we’ll have a massive support there and we’ll go in there 120% believing that we can stay in the Football League.
“I’m feeling confident. I always do. I think we’re playing well.”