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Player Safety Is Of Paramount Importance - Brian Barry-Murphy On Abandoned Friendly

27 July 2019

Manager Brian Barry-Murphy believes it was the correct decision to abandon Saturday’s pre-season friendly against Bradford City at half-time.

The match was called-off during the break, following torrential rain in the run up to and throughout the first 45 minutes.

The Dale boss explained that player welfare must come first in those situations.

“It was the correct decision” he said.

“There were major problems on the pitch from the middle of the first-half. The amount of water that fell on the pitch seemed to be extremely excessive for this time of year and the lads were surprised by it.

“The ball wasn’t rolling true and I don’t think it was beneficial to anybody. As much as we wanted to continue playing the game, I think it would have been a bit of a farce, and it wouldn’t have helped anybody in the long run.

“It’s about player welfare. We have a duty to the players to protect them and, subconsciously, they become very worried when things like that happen.

“It’s no reflection on anybody. Player safety is of paramount importance and that was a major worry to me from the middle part of the first-half.

“The lads have put in incredible effort during pre-season and they deserve better than that, so it was a sensible decision from everybody.

“[Gary Bowyer, Bradford City Manager] was of the same opinion, that the ball wasn’t running true and it was going to be problematic for players.

“Players tend to end up making challenges that are out of sync with that they should be doing and it can become dangerous for everybody. It looked like a pretty straight forward decision for me.”

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