Brian Barry-Murphy has praised the work rate of his players, following Rochdale’s 3-1 win over Scunthorpe United at the Crown Oil Arena…
Dale went in level at the break, but two second half goals secured the points.
“I thought we played really well in spells of the game. It was a hard game initially – Scunthorpe are a big team and quite powerful, and they put us under a lot of pressure.
“But as has been evident in the last couple of games, the lads defended really resolutely and we were allowed to grow into the game and put our input onto it, which I thought the players did. I thought the players were exceptional in the way they continued to play the way wanted to, and the courage they showed was immense.
“Games in the league are super competitive in the first half and we’ve had issues this season where we’ve been out of games in the first half, but I thought the way we played in the first half was good and it was fine.
“We gave away a goal, which in a strange sort of way, I was quite happy to see because we haven’t reacted to those moments well at all this season. It has been a major problem for us, but the lads cleared their heads well and continued to do what we wanted them to do, so that’s the most rewarding aspect of the day for me. To say it is one thing, to do it is another, and they did it.”
And he believes the second half showing came about as a result of the work the players put in during the first half.
“With the ball, we turned on the style at stages in the second half and that only came about because we were so resilient and courageous in the first half in the way that we defended. I think you could sense that the work rate from the players was top, top level today. We all know that leads to rewarding performances and results.
“The real hard yards were done in the first half and the lads really started to express themselves and showed a lot of confidence in what they were doing in the second half, which bodes well for the future. The challenge is now to try and replicate that and try and get even better at it, so we’ll be working exceptionally hard this week to try and improve. There are a lot of areas that we can still improve on, and the players know that.”
Man of the Match Aaron Wilbrham made his first start for the side since November and bagged a brace in the victory.
BBM believes the goals were a fitting reward for the veteran striker’s patience and attitude.
“I’m delighted for Alby. His training has been exceptional for a period of time, but he hasn’t had the moments that he feels he has deserved, but we’ve had our reasons for not playing him as a management team and now me as the manager. He’s been frustrated but he understands that, and he has been exceptional in the way he has behaved and conducted himself, so it is a fitting reward that he has scored today. It shows the rest of the squad how to conduct themselves when things aren’t going well for them. It was brilliant for him.”
Dale have now secured seven points from an available nine under Barry-Murphy but he reiterated that the most important aspect for him is the performance.
“Of course, I’m pleased with the return so far. I don’t want to sound boring, but I haven’t been fixated on the points or any unbeaten run. I feel a bit embarrassed stating that actually – three games is no sort of management record.
“For me, it’s about the way the players play and express themselves. It is a little bit a reward for them because I’ve tried to convince them that the way we play and the way we’ve always tried to play can be successful, so to get the results and these moments backs up your credibility to the players and it gets them to believe in the type of football that you want them to try and play.”
Watch the full interview on iFollow.