Manager Brian Barry-Murphy reflects on Dale’s Carabao Cup Round Two win over Carlisle United at the Crown Oil Arena.
It’s the first time since 2011 that Rochdale have progressed through to the third round of the competition.
“It’s great news, it was an exciting night,” said BBM in his post-match interview. “
“The Tuesday night games here so far have been exciting for everybody, and tonight was no exception. Carlisle were a credit to themselves and their team, and they came at us like any good team does in a cup tie.
“I was agitated at times in the second half because I knew how good they have been during spells in games and I knew they would come at us hard, but some of our play was exceptional and we were very good. It was a great game and I really enjoyed it.
“Carlisle are a very good side and I think it would have been disrespectful of us to think that we could just over-run them and try to take the ball off them in dangerous areas of the pitch. They want you to come onto them and expose your defensive line.
“I thought we were very patient in the way we waited for opportunities to spring into life, and we were quite aggressive in the way we won the ball back. I was happy with that and the discipline we showed.
“A lot of the work that the staff have been doing with the players over the summer in trying to be defensive and winning the ball back in different areas of the pitch bore fruit. We looked quite dangerous when we won the ball back. We obviously want to have control by having more possession than the opposition, but we’re not too big in our boots to disrespect the opposition and think they won’t have spells in the game where they control it.”
Aaron Morley scored a stunning long-range strike in the match to open the scoring, his second goal of the campaign so far.
“It was a brilliant goal,” said Barry-Murphy.
“We had to be quite patient in a lot of our work in the first half because Carlisle keep the ball really well. Aaron is starting to get towards the opposition box, and his shooting and his final end product are exceptional, so we’re very conscious that when he’s working with someone like Jimmy Ryan or MJ Williams, he catches up with play quite quickly and he adds another threat to our attacking play with his shooting.”
And BBM was pleased to see Matty Done open his account for the season.
“Matty had quite a serious achilles problem in the summer and he has been building up towards fitness. I’m very conscious of the fact that I don’t want to push him too hard, too early. There were still parts of his game tonight where he was quite sore, but he was really pushing himself to try and get back into the flow of things from a fitness point of view.
“I thought some of his movement was exceptional, and as Matty Done does, he makes penetrating runs. There won’t be many players in the position he was in for the Carlisle mistake that led to his goal. His finish was really clinical.”
Dale had opened up a two goal lead in the first half, only for the Blues to half the deficit from the penalty spot with 20 minutes of the game left to play.
“In cup ties, teams are allowed to really throw the kitchen sink at you. I thought it was a great test for us – their goal came from nothing in the second. We had great control of the game and it was our best spell of the game when they scored.
“We were really going after Carlisle and it looked like we could get a third and even a fourth, and that’s what players and I wanted. They broke really quickly and it was amazing individual skill. It was a moment that changed the dynamic of the game, but our lads managed it well.
“Even although we had to defend deeply in the last moments of the game, I think that’s inevitable in a cup tie that means so much to the players. There were bodies all over the pitch at the end of the game which is testament to the commitment of both sets of players.”
Watch the full interview on iFollow.