Brian Barry-Murphy looks ahead to Dale’s League One fixture v Accrington Stanley at the Wham Stadium…
“Accrington are a great team,” said BBM.
“With a lot of the teams in this league, sometimes you watch them and you think they’re all much of a muchness, but I worked under John and Jimmy here at Rochdale so I know how they do their stuff, and they’ve got their own style.
“It’s a style that’s unique in a lot of ways. The way they play the game is very courageous and they play with great style. It’s something that we would like to do - a lot of the same things they include in their game plan, we would like to get to that level.
“We’re in a similar position in the league, but they have more points than us, so it will be an exceptionally hard game at a great venue which has great character. Whenever I’ve been there, the people who watch the games are exceptional supporters.
“I think we will bring quite a few fans as well, so it could be one of those special days and the players will be really excited by that.”
Dale have secured four points for an available six under Brian Barry-Murphy’s stewardship, and BBM believes that lads are in good form.
“It was obviously a difficult period prior to that, so we were just hoping to get some points on the board from the initial burst of games, to give the guys some belief after what was a tough run of games against, probably, the best teams in the league.
“Coming up against teams in and around us gives us a chance to really gather some points and momentum. It [the last couple of results and performances] has given us all a lift and hopefully it will give us a springboard into the final games of the season, which are going to be very exciting.”
Rochdale head into the match on the back of Tuesday night’s draw with Oxford United. He admits that he was pleased with the players’ commitment in difficult weather conditions.
“I wasn’t going to try and kid the supporters by saying it was a great game. I thought there were elements of the game that were very hard to watch due to the conditions. The wind, in particular, was incredible on the pitch. Both sets of players showed great appetite and application in the game.
“We’ve had spells this season where it has been good to watch and we have been successful, although probably not many. We have consciously tried to put in resolute performances, and I thought the lads’ commitment to try and get a positive result on Tuesday was unquestionable. Everything else is secondary. You can add the tactical elements and the finer parts of the performance after that, but it was a great point for us.
“It was noticeable how heavy the pitch is. Physically, and I don’t know how evident it was to supporters, but it takes a lot out of the players in the short-term between a Saturday and Tuesday. I did feel the physical levels were down on Tuesday, so I’ve just tried to help them recover and get ready for the game against Accrington on Saturday, and they seem in good spirits.
“We’re just going to focus on what we need to do and be aware of what they can do. We’ve got very clear minds and the lads are in a good place.”
And BBM reveals the squad in good health ahead of the fixture. He also delivered some good news on the injury front.
“Squad-wise, I think the Ethan Ebanks-Landell diagnosis could change slightly. We were all very disappointed at the extent of the news, but there’s a chance that it might not be as severe as we first thought. He’s been back at Wolves for a second opinion and they’re not as concerned as we were initially. So hopefully that won’t be as long term as we thought. Other than that, Ryan McLaughlin is the only doubt heading into the game and Josh Lillis and Rekeil Pyke remain injured. So, we’re in pretty good shape.”
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