Manager Brian Barry-Murphy has reflects on a memorable night at the Crown Oil Arena…
His side booked their place in Round Two of the Carabao Cup with a resounding 5-2 win over Bolton Wanderers, having twice come from behind to secure the victory.
“I’m very excited [to be into the next round]. I thought we produced some really good attacking football at difficult times of the game when we were behind. Bolton put us under pressure and posed different problems for us, but our lads found solutions and provided some great attacking moments and scored some wonderful goals,” said BBM.
“I thought it was a good night, it was a really good cup tie. We both went for it – Bolton didn’t hold back. They really came at us, which we knew they would, but our team was pretty young and provided some really potent attacking play.”
It was a battle of the youngsters, as two youthful sides, complemented with some older heads, went up against each other in the tie. There were twelve players in Dale’s squad who were aged 23 and under, and BBM says that is very pleasing.
“Bolton should be very proud of their players, which I’m sure they are, and there’s a great feeling amongst their players and the staff.
“But our own production line is rich at the moment and we’ve got great players coming through. We’ve always worked off the balance of having real good established pros who help those players come on, and we feel as if we’ve got that at the moment. It’s great competition and this is also a great competition for our young players to play in, and generally, I think it has been a great night all over for us.”
Tuesday night was the first time that Dale have gone behind this season and Barry-Murphy is happy with the way his players responded.
“It was a great test for us all, myself included. We’ve had a good run at home and we’ve gone in front in a lot of games, so to see us go behind was a great test and I was looking for how we behave in terms of our behaviour and how we play.
“We continued to play the way I want us to play and we provided some great attacking movements that caused Bolton a lot of problems. I think we would have scored some of our goals against any opposition. There has been a lot of talk about Bolton having a very, very young team but we had a lot of young lads on to the pitch too with a couple of older guys. I thought we were very good in different periods of the game, although some of our defensive play can obviously be worked on.”
Rekeil Pyke who came agonisingly close to opening his account for the season at the weekend, only to be denied by the woodwork, got his name on the score sheet in the victory, sending a fine glancing header beyond Remi Matthews in the Wanderers goal.
Barry-Murphy is pleased to see him get off the mark.
“All strikers or forward players love to score goals, and we believe Rekeil is someone who can score a lot of goals for this club and, in time, for his parent club. He has been doing a great job for the team, playing slightly behind where he’d normally play off the right side of midfield. He sees himself very much as a striker and he has been doing a selfless task for the team. He got a chance on Saturday and hit the post with a great move. He’s someone who can be very, very explosive in the final third and he has a great work ethic on a daily basis.”
Callum Camps scored a brace on the night and BBM believes the Dale Academy graduate is showing great maturity.
“There is a great maturity in Callum. Last season, he really came to the fore for me, and was a leader of the group at all times during the game tonight.
“He has a great understanding tactically of the way that we want to play the game and he implements that on the pitch. He’s a great organiser and great leader of that group. He’s priceless to me in the way that he interprets the game.”
Rochdale remain unbeaten so far this season, having secured four points from an available six from their opening two league games, as well as securing progression in the Carabao Cup.
Whilst keeping his feet firmly on the ground, BBM admits he’s looking forward to seeing what this squad can achieve.
“There’s a great excitement amongst the players because they challenge each other and in turn the challenge me. They are very receptive to working hard and they’ve worked hard from the very first day of pre-season.
“There are going to be defeats along the way, it’s inevitable, and those could come very soon, but the players are prepared to do everything they can to not lose games. They are very, very competitive and I think it’s important that we won the game tonight after having a set-back late in the game on Saturday.
“That’s something we also did well last season – we bounced straight back, and these players bounced straight back tonight despite there being some tough moments in the game and it being a tough test.”
Watch the full interview on iFollow.