Brian Barry-Murphy gave an honest assessment of his side’s display in the goalless draw at home to Boston United on Sunday.
Dale couldn’t find a way past the Lincolnshire side and Barry-Murphy admitted it was a difficult game for his players.
“In all honesty, I don’t think we played particularly well,” said the Dale boss.
“It was a very, very difficult game. Boston came and had a real go at us, which I knew they would do. We didn’t match their intensity levels for long enough to allow ourselves to impose our game plan on them.
“We had spells of possession with no real penetration and we didn’t aim to have that control without penetration. The way the game materialised wasn’t the way we planned.
“We managed to stay in the Cup tie and have some chances towards the end, which gives us a chance to go to a replay. I’m quite excited by the replay myself. It looks like a very difficult fixture on paper and it will be, but it’s one that we’re confident that we can approach in a very good manner.
“I spoke to the players honestly [at half-time] and gave them my interpretation of the way I saw us play in the first-half. It just wasn’t a representation of what we aim to be.
“It was a bit safe and conservative for my liking. I feel as if we’re at our best when we’re unpredictable and trying to be on the front foot. I thought I maybe got a couple of things wrong in my setup for the game today and I was keen to rectify that to try and help the players.
“We managed to have spells of pressure in the first-half but we didn’t create the chances I hoped our play would. We created a couple of chances near the end, but it would be remiss of me to say that we deserved to go through.
“I thought the draw was a fair result because we had some scares, but I always confident that we’d get the chance to do it again and so it proved.
“I try to be honest with the players and supporters in my reflection of how I see the game going. Whilst I thought we played really well in the last few weeks without getting the results our performances deserved, I just think today, in simplistic terms, we didn’t play well.
“We’re under no illusions that we want to provide the supporters with goalmouth action and we didn’t do that today in sustained periods. It’s a day when we just didn’t play well, but we didn’t get beat.”
Dale now face a replay at the Jakemans Stadium next week for a spot in the third round, a game Barry-Murphy says his players will give everything in.
“I would be surprised and disappointed if it was something I had to get the players up for. I don’t mean to get ahead of myself here, but we have no delusions of grandeur where we think we’re too good to go to a place like Boston for a second-round replay.
“We pride ourselves on being humble and respectful of the opposition, so to say we just thought we were going to go through would be hugely disrespectful of myself and the players.
“We’re going to go into a return leg at Boston which will be an incredible experience and a very tough game, but one that excites me and one where we’ll have to show a side of our game that will be very good for us to discover that we have.”
Click HERE to watch the full interview with Barry-Murphy on iFollow Dale.