Manager Brian Barry-Murphy looks ahead to Dale’s final home game of the season…
“We’re very excited,” he told iFollow.
“It has been a whirlwind five or six weeks for myself, and over the course of the season it has been both challenging and rewarding in different measures at different times, so it’s a chance for the club to come together and have one last real go at home.
“The game is against very good opposition in Southend, but one we are very excited about. It’s a chance for us to hopefully put on a performance that reflects what we’re about and that gives the supporters something to shout about and be proud of on the last home game of the season.”
Rochdale head into the match following back-to-back wins over Easter, something he admits he is very proud of the players for.
“I’m immensely proud of the whole club. The lads put in an extraordinary effort in what was a very testing period of the season for us.
“It would have been easy after the run of games we’ve been on to think we had done enough or be satisfied going for a draw, but we pushed right until the last minute and that’s what I and the players wanted, so to be able to fulfil that and push to the last minute was hugely rewarding. And again, to give our travelling supporters, who have been amazing away from home something to really celebrate on Monday was equally as rewarding.
“The challenge for us now is to really push on and be aggressive in our next two games, and that’s something that we’re very keen to do. We won’t rest on our laurels and we’ll continue to push right until the very end.”
There has been a quick turnaround from Monday’s fixture into the weekend and Barry-Murphy says the players have had a good few days on the training pitch in preparation for the match.
“There has been a continuous effort from the players to really push each other and there is a huge competitiveness within the squad, which gives me challenges to select which team I can.
“The changes that I made on Monday were simple changes for me and the lads who hadn’t played came in and produced exceptional performances, and that’s what we’ve been building towards during the last period of the season.
“The players have been true to their word and they have put in everything that we’ve asked of them, so to reward them with performances and start with the players who hadn’t been playing was the way it should be, and now the challenge again is to select a side from the group of players and attack the games as best we can. That’s all we’re focusing on.”
BBM has once again thanked the fans for their “incredible” support and has spoken of how important that bond between supporters and players is.
“The support has been incredible, even at Bristol Rovers on Monday, the support was fantastic.
“At difficult moments, you tend to notice it more as a player. At this stage of the season, you find at a lot clubs when results aren’t going well or there is a tension in the air, that frustration will transmit onto the pitch, but our supporters have been exemplary in their patience towards the players.
“There are going to be difficult moments in this league because of its competitive nature, but the understanding towards the players has been a huge factor, and the players have commented on how relaxed they feel at home. Even when difficult moments have arrived at home, that has been evident.
“There are going to be loads more difficult moments in Saturday’s game against an exceptional team in Southend United. We’re prepared for that and I think that bond between players and supporters is key for us as a club moving forward.”
Watch the full interview on iFollow.