Former Rochdale midfielder David Flitcroft is hoping Dale can avoid relegation to the Conference.
Flitcroft is backing Dale boss Steve Parkin to turn things round
Only goal difference is keeping the Spotland club out of the Third Division drop-zone with four games to go.
"I'm surprised and gutted, to be honest," said Flitcroft, who now plays for Dale's Lancashire rivals Bury.
"I wish I had the answers and I hope Steve Parkin finds them, because Rochdale can't go out of the League. I just hope they can pull it round."
He added: "I never expected Rochdale to be down there at this stage of the season, especially when Steve Parkin went back there.
"I honestly think the damage was done before he (Parkin) got there," Flitcroft told the club's website.
Flitcroft, 30, started almost 150 league games in four years with Rochdale before joining Macclesfield and then Bury this season.