Brian Barry-Murphy says he was ‘very, very happy’ with the defensive aspects of his side’s performance in the 0-0 draw at home to Sky Bet League One leaders Blackpool.
“I thought it was a great clean sheet,” said the Dale boss.
“We have to be honest with ourselves, I don’t think we reached the heights that we have in previous weeks.
“I think a lot of that was probably down to ourselves trying to implement the same strategy, with the same players who put a lot in to Tuesday night.
“The conditions today were difficult, and by the conditions I mean the opposition were a huge factor with their quality of play. They’re top of the table for a reason and are an exceptional side.
“We just didn’t have any real fluency in the game, but the lads gave it everything and they fought right to the end. Like I said the week before last, we found a great way of getting a clean sheet and a point.
“I think the lads deserve a lot of credit for the way that they performed throughout the game.
“Blackpool are a very good side. They’ve spent a lot of money and are acquiring very good players. Simon Grayson’s record in League One is better than anybody else, so they’re going to be a real force to be reckoned with.
“It was a different type of challenge that we, ultimately, handled well, in getting a result from the game.
“It’s very important for the group of players that they find ways to get results when the going gets tough, and we found a way to get the result, albeit not the one we wanted in terms of a win, but it was a result and we’re very happy with that.”
Barry-Murphy also praised Man Of The Match Robert Sánchez, who made a spectacular save in the first-half on the way to earning his second clean sheet in three games.
“They’ve got big go to strikers and are a big team on set plays, so we were very conscious of the fact that we have to defend them.
“Our lads defended set plays really well, and Robert [Sánchez] made one great save. His performance was full of assured behaviour and he was very good.
“The lads in front of him supported him well I think, but it was the other side of the game where we just couldn’t reach the heights of previous weeks.
“But we have to be understanding that the players can’t do that every week and it’s important to find ways to get results, which we did.
“I thought we had pretty good control defensively, if I’m being honest. Like I said, I don’t think our play was fluent but I think our defending was pretty resolute. I was very, very happy with the defensive aspects of the team.”
A Blackpool cross struck the inside of the post in added time of the second-half, but the Dale boss was delighted with the way his side committed to defending until the very end.
“I think it [the last minute scramble] was a miscommunication on our part, but the lads were right back on the line and willing to defend for their lives, and that’s all we can ask.
“At any given moment, mistakes can happen when you’re defending your box and we’ve conceded loads of late goals. So the courage and mental resilience to protect that goal late in the game was great for me.”
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