Brian Barry-Murphy says the attitude of his players gives him great hope and encouragement ahead of Saturday’s game at Rotherham United.
The Dale boss says he is focused on giving the players he has available a platform to be competitive in the game at the New York Stadium, a venue that Dale have a great record at in recent years.
“Previous results bear no resemblance to what’s going to happen this weekend, but it’s always nice to reminisce about what we have done there in the past,” said Barry-Murphy.
“Sometimes players do gather bits of hope and confidence from what they’re done there the past. We have good memories of the venue and we’re certain that we can play really well and provide a stern test for a Rotherham team who are one of the strongest in the league.
“But rather than go on about their great strengths, we’re very focused on providing an attacking intent with the players that we believe are very capable of doing that.
“The main focus is on the players who are available and the guys who are showing great courage every week at the moment. Some of them are even playing when they’re not 100% themselves.
“To see those guys put everything into training this week has really focused my mind on giving them a platform to go and be really competitive.”
Barry-Murphy confirmed that a squad similar to that available in recent weeks will travel to Rotherham.
“We continue with a very similar squad. We’re very stretched at the moment and there’s no getting away from that. We’ve been decimated, in terms of the senior members of our squad.
“They all still look as though they’re going to be coming back at a similar time, which in theory is good, but in practicality terms is not, because they’re still a while away in terms of being back in action.
“Stephen Dooley may be introduced back into training next week or so, but even Ollie Rathbone isn’t fully fit.
“He’s had complications in his return. He played really well when he came on for a cameo last Sunday, but it’s very much an ongoing process, which is the same with Ryan McLaughlin.
“We’ve had no immediate lifts as such and we think a lot of our players are going to be coming back at a very similar time, which at the moment, is going to be two, three or four weeks.
“That’s a frustration for us at the moment, but one that we can’t control. What we can control is working incredibly hard with the players who are giving absolutely everything for us. I see that on a daily basis, and it gives us great hope and encouragement going forward.”
The Dale boss also says he understood the frustrations from some supporters at last week’s Emirates FA Cup second round tie against Boston United and says his side must learn from the game.
“It was a very frustrating day for everyone involved. We weren’t at our best and Boston put in a very good display.
“Overall, we’re very glad to still be in the competition and whilst we weren’t at our best, we put in a performance that enabled us to still be in the hat.
“We received great support during the game and towards the end there was frustration from the supporters at our number of attempts on goal.
“As players and staff, we’re greatly appreciative of the support we’ve had this season. So, for the supporters to express their dissatisfaction at certain elements of our play is fine. We’re okay with that.
“We’ve always been clear that we don’t feel as though we’re above criticism. It’s been, generally, very constructive all season. We always listen to what our supporters want, and whilst they’ll appreciate that we can’t focus on every little thing they want to see, we’re very understanding of the fact that they want to see goalmouth action.
“Against the perceived lesser opponent, they may have been expecting more than they got. As I said, there are different elements to each game and the opposition have a huge bearing on that.
“Whilst we felt that we should have produced more in the attacking third, we didn’t, for whatever reason, and it’s up to us to learn from that.”
The full interview with Barry-Murphy is available to watch on iFollow Dale HERE.