Manager Brian Barry-Murphy reflects on his side’s 1-0 win over Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium…
“I thought it was a good game but I also thought it was a tough game,” said BBM in his post-match interview.
“Games on the Monday after the Friday game can be quite physically demanding on the players after what they put into the game on that Friday, and that’s the same for all the clubs in the league.
“I thought our lads showed resilience and courage again, to withstand some good chances from Bristol Rovers.
“The most pleasing thing for me was that we came out really strong when a lot of teams would have been happy to settle for the draw and go into protection mode. We were very conscious that we were going to attack them and we did that, so there are a lot of positives from that point of view.”
Ethan Hamilton’s 81st minute strike proved to be Dale’s winner, and Barry-Murphy is pleased to see the on-loan Manchester United midfielder’s name on the score sheet.
“It was a great finish. Ethan is capable of scoring goals and he has been an incredible team player. For a loan player coming into our environment, it can be difficult, but he had an amazing spell earlier [in his loan period] and then he’s had a little bit of time where he has had to fight for his place in the team due to the competitive nature of the squad, so to see him get a goal today is reward for his behaviour and his attitude in training and in games. He has been a valuable team member for the squad during his time here.”
Dale have only lost two of the nine games since BBM has been at the helm, with the defeats coming against Sunderland and Portsmouth.
That run of form has seen Rochdale move out of the bottom four and up to 14th in the Sky Bet League One table, with the Easter Monday win over the Gas taking Dale to 51 points, five points clear of the relegation zone.
BBM is pleased with the consistency in performances and results.
“I’m very pleased for the players - they’ve put in an incredible effort. There were some good performances before I took over, but we had no consistency whatsoever this season and probably over the course of the last 24 months where we haven’t been able to put runs of form or performances together.
“That has changed in the last few weeks, but it hasn’t all been plain sailing. There have been set-backs. It hasn’t all been free, flowing football – even today it was a tough, tough game, but we’ve shown a continued resilience and a mental application that we haven’t shown previously. That’s very important for the players because they know that brings performances like today and following that, results.”
Rochdale have two games remaining in this campaign, starting with our final home game of the season on Saturday, when we welcome Southend United to the Crown Oil Arena.
BBM says the attention now turns to the Shrimpers.
“We’ve made a huge conscious effort not to be dictated to by where we are in the table, it would be foolish to change that approach now. The lads have been incredibly focused on pushing each other in training and trying to get into the starting 11.
“For me, I’m not good enough to devise a master plan as to how we get above different targets. I just want us to be super competitive in training all week and try push each other as hard as we can, and that will happen this week.
“The lads rightly enjoyed their moment today with the supporters after the game, which I think is very important. The lads have finished playing in their pink kit for the season and it was important for us to reward them with those shirts & with applause. I thank them for their support.
“We now have a short lead into what is a very important game for us at the weekend.”
Watch the full interview on iFollow.