Brian Barry-Murphy thinks Saturday’s game at Shrewsbury Town will be a challenge, but is encouraged by his side’s start to the season.
Dale were 5-2 winners over Bolton Wanderers in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night, and Barry-Murphy wants to his side to continue, and enhance, elements of that performance at Shrewsbury.
“It will be a great challenge for us, but we think we’re playing pretty well and we’re in good form,” said the Dale boss.
“We’ll be going away to try and make our own impact and give them problems of their own.
“They’re one of the more senior and established squads in League One. They’ve acquired a lot of players who have great League One experience and have been successful in the league.
“I would suggest, without trying to play any sort of minds games, that they’re one of the big hitters in League One this season.
“We’re just very, very focused on how we’re performing and working hard. There were a lot of elements of Tuesday night’s game that were very, very rewarding for myself, and we’re looking to continue them and enhance them in Saturday’s game.”
Barry-Murphy has also given an update on the injury front, with the latest on Ryan McLaughlin and Aaron Wilbraham, and news on Rekeil Pyke.
“We’re in good shape physically. Obviously, we have Jimmy Ryan serving the last game of his suspension.
“Ryan McLaughlin is close to being back fit, but I don’t think he’ll be available for this weekend.
“Aaron Wilbraham continues his recovery from a calf injury, which is proving problematic for us, in that it’s taking longer than we expected. I still think Aaron will be missing for the next couple of weeks.
“The only other one is Rekeil Pyke, who picked up a knock on his knee, so he’s touch and go. He’s been making progress in terms of his rehabilitation so we’re just watching that with a view to Saturday’s game.
“It’s imperative with the numbers we have in our squad that we can try and get our players as quickly as we can when they do miss games.
“That’s our job, and the staff here have been amazing in terms of their preparation of the players and the work they put into it.
“There have been a lot of comments about how much the players have worked hard, and that’s rightly due, but the staff behind-the-scenes have been working incredibly hard to put on every available support system to the players to try and get fit and strong in training, whilst respecting that they need recovery and help to keep them on the pitch.
“The support from the staff has been amazing and something that has to be acknowledged on a weekly basis.”
Barry-Murphy’s first game in caretaker charge of the Club came against Shrewsbury, in March earlier this year, with Dale running out 2-1 winners.
“It’s come around quickly [since then]! It was a great day for us back in March.
“Both teams will be much changed in terms of the personnel on the pitch. This will be a different type of test and one that we’re very aware of how difficult it is going to be, but one that we’re very excited by.
“Our away games have been approached in a very positive manner, and we intend to do that again whilst respecting that there will be loads of problems that we have solve on the pitch that, no doubt, Shrewsbury are going to present to us.”
Following Tuesday night’s win over Bolton, Dale were draw at home again in Round Two, against Carlisle United.
“It’s a very exciting draw for everyone involved. It’s a competition that captures the imagination of a lot of our players and supporters.
“All we could ask for is that we get a home draw, and to come up against Carlisle will be very exciting for both Clubs. Both will see it as an opportunity to progress.
“They’re a highly talented team from League Two and Steven Pressley has got them playing some amazing football, so that will be a proper, proper cup tie in a couple of weeks and something we’re very excited for.”
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