ROCHDALE are the great entertainers of English football.
The League One side hold that tag because they have the highest aggregate of goals in the top five leagues this season with 85, one more than Oldham.
In the past nine games alone, they have featured in matches with a whopping 47 goals.
And they have scored more goals than any other side in England’s top four divisions in 2021.
Although Dale — in 18th spot and just one point above the relegation zone — have only won one of those matches.
Top-scorer Matty Lund admits recent results and scorelines — such as a 5-0 win at Wigan in December, Tuesday’s 4-3 home defeat by Oxford and a 4-4 draw at Charlton — have been “crazy”.
And he would happily take a 1-0 victory at his former club Bristol Rovers today.
Lund, 30, said: “We want to be entertainers going forward but I dread to know what Rochdale fans’ heart rates are like watching us at the moment.
“It’s been incredible — and the games have been rollercoasters.
“It has been enjoyable but also frustrating, as we don’t seem to be able to hang on to a result.
“It’s been a crazy time. I’m sure the fans would take a 1-0 result every game — and so would we. It would be the perfect result.
“And, hopefully, it would take away the tag of us being the most entertaining team in the country, because we need to be more solid and resilient as a team and keep clean sheets.”
Dale have suffered injuries to key defenders Paul McShane and Eoghan O’Connell and are not blessed with a big squad, forcing talented teenagers to plug the gaps.
As well as a lack of experience, other mitigating factors to the goal rush has been an absence of fans, which has changed the intensity and atmosphere at games.
Behind-closed-doors matches can throw up remarkable results, just like we have seen in the Premier League this campaign.
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Lund added: “The games are completely different without crowds and you feel you have a better chance of picking up points — even in the away games.
“We played at Peterborough last month. They had a few thousand fans but it felt like there were 50,000 in the stands because we hadn’t played in front of a crowd for so long. It was so loud.”
Despite their defensive problems, which have seen them ship 47 league goals this term, Brian Barry-Murphy’s Dale have no problem finding the back of the net and have scored more than League One leaders Lincoln.
Only second-placed Hull, with 40, have more than their 38-goal haul.
Lund, playing in a No 10 role, has ten league goals to his name already this season, equalling the best tally of his career.
And the three-cap Northern Ireland international admitted he is learning from Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes to add more to his game.
The Dale ace said: “I’m really happy with the amount of goals I’ve scored.
“Ten league goals was my initial aim at the start of the season — but now I’d like to get to 15.
“Bruno Fernandes is an incredible player.
“He’s somebody I watch and try to learn from as he plays a similar role, where he’s a midfielder but likes to press high up the pitch and try to get in the box and score goals by getting on the end of crosses.
“But I’m sure he scores better goals from outside the box than me!”