Brian Barry-Murphy has told iFollow that the players are looking forward to returning to competitive action on Saturday, following last weekend’s postponement.
Dale go into the game against Scunthorpe United having won one and drawn the other of BBM’s first two games at the helm, and he’s full of praise for the players.
“We’ve had a good week [leading into Saturday’s game], he said.
“The break in fixtures probably came at a good time for us. The game being called off against Accrington wasn’t something that we planned for – the lads were prepared and ready to go. But the break has given us a chance to really focus on this game and to regroup to go again.
“The players’ commitment has been evident every day. They have been fantastic in their approach to training and they have bought into everything I’ve asked them to do. They’ve tried to do that on the training pitch and in games.
“The players have so far been outstanding in everything they have done for the Club, for me and for themselves, and I think they’ve represented the supporters very well. So, we’re happy and confident going into what is an exciting period for us.”
Much has been made in the media this week about the 13-team relegation battle involving Rochdale, which sees just nine points separating 24th placed Bradford City and Plymouth who currently occupy 12th spot.
BBM admits that he tries to stay clear of that type of talk, but that he’s well aware of how tight the division is.
“There are spells in the season where the teams at the bottom of the table can all start winning games from nowhere and they tend to do it all the same time, which puts pressure on the teams above.
“We’re focused in on performing well and trying to make those performances what we want them to be. We’re sure that we can win games in League One if we can do that, and, as a result, we will make ground on the teams above us.
“I’m convinced that we will get closer to the teams above us and get beyond them, rather than looking below us. We can all win games down there, AFC Wimbledon, for example, have showed that. It’s very important that we stick to our way of playing, because I’m sure that will win games for us.
“It’s only words and the test will come when we concede or go behind in game, so this will become irrelevant, but I’m sure our lads will keep going from the first to the last minute because I have seen that they are willing to do that.
“Talk of results going for us or not going for us is irrelevant to me. It doesn’t impact on the players because I make sure it doesn’t. We’re only focused on performance levels and that’s going to be a continuing trait of ours.”
And BBM is looking forward to the challenge of going up against the Iron this weekend.
“Scunthorpe are a very good team and they’ve got a great manager in Stuart McCall. They are one of the bigger hitters in the league in terms of the players that they can recruit. The calibre of player that they can recruit is on a different level to ourselves, but that has always been the way and it doesn’t intimidate us. They are big Club in terms of finances in the league, but our players and I don’t really care about where we’re supposed to be in the league, we just want to have a good go at the game.
“We’re convinced we can win it if we play the way we know we can. The lads are ready to go, and it won’t be for a want of trying if things don’t go our way.”
Watch the full interview on iFollow.