I DON’T expect there to be any love lost in the opposing dugout tomorrow night, no matter what both managers say.
David Flitcroft and Keith Hill, who worked together at Rochdale and Barnsley, have been saying all the right things in the build up – that it is no different to any other match and it is not about them, it is about the players on the pitch.
But the fact of the matter is that this is different – it is a derby match in front of the Sky TV cameras and I am really excited about the prospect.
I know Bury lost their last match, but both sides have been on top form of late so I am expecting a cracking contest.
And I think the crowd and atmosphere will be top notch too.
I expect Rochdale to fill their allocation, so it is all set up to be fantastic fixture.
To be fair, I felt the same ahead of the reverse match and that turned out to be a bit of a damp squib.
On that occasion, Bury didn’t have an answer to the Rochdale tactics after the home side got a man sent off. But that was a completely different Bury, with a different manager and different players.
I don’t anticipate the Shakers to have similar problems this time around.
The only fear is that the two managers cancel each other out.
They know each other so well – how they set up their sides and the tactics they use.
The really interesting thing for me will be to see if either one of them can pull off a surprise, maybe by introducing a new set-piece or something like that.
What I don’t anticipate, however, is that the managers will be asking their players to offer the opposition any more respect than they deserve.
I can remember in my playing days, taking to the pitch against Paul Simpson, who I went on to work alongside in the Rochdale dug-out.
We were really good friends, but as soon as we got out on to the pitch that all went out of the window.
And the same goes for managers.
In my opinion, I would rather be in Flickers’ shoes tomorrow night.
Bury are the ones with everything to gain and nothing to lose.
As promotion challengers, Rochdale have to go into the match as favourites, so they would be a really good scalp for the Shakers.
It is also a fantastic opportunity for the players and the club as a whole to put on a show for the TV cameras, to show the watching public what they are all about.
And I really hope they can give the fans the derby day victory they crave.
Up the Shakers!