TOM Aldred admitted he feared his record of successive games was going to be ended when he injured his knee against Hartlepool.
But the 24-year-old defender said he was determined to keep it going and bounced back for the 1-1 draw at Newport and is now targeting 100 consecutive appearances.
“I have had 79 starts and 80 appearances in a row now,” said Aldred, who replaced Mark Hughes at Rochdale in February 2013 and has never looked back.
“I felt my knee after the Hartlepool game on Tuesday and I thought I wasn’t going to make it for Newport.
“Saying that, I did not know if my body would make it but I always knew mentally I was going to make it, as I would have to be carried off if I was going to come off!
“It actually feels okay, it’s just a bit of bruising and I will monitor it but it won’t stop me.
“I do look after my body well and it is rare for a defender to make so many appearances on the bounce but my aim is just to keep it going.”
Aldred admits at the moment he is casting envious glances at fellow defender Rob Atkinson who has scored three goals for the season.
“I am a bit jealous,” laughed the centre-half. “He is getting himself into decent positions and scoring – it is something I need to improve on.”
And former Watford player Aldred wouldn’t mind if his first goal of the season came in Friday’s derby with Morecambe, who Hughes now plays for.
“It doesn’t matter where each team is in the league, they are massive games and we are playing for pride and against our local rivals,” added Aldred. “We will certainly be looking to win at home.
“We do seem to do okay against them but it’s up to us to win at home – all the lads are excited about it.”