Brian Barry-Murphy has discussed his summer recruitment plans, and the shape of his squad, heading into next season.
The Dale boss says he is conscious that there was a large squad of players at the Club, and wants to work with a smaller group of players for the 2019/20 campaign.
“I think our squad is in a good place, generally,” said Barry-Murphy.
“When I took over a couple of months ago, one of the huge motivating factors for myself was the excitement at working with this group of players.
“They reinforced what I thought. There’s a very strong, core element to the squad that, for whatever reason, underachieved as a group, and I include myself in that, over the last two seasons.
“There’s no doubt that within that strength, it needs adding or finetuning, and we need to be selective and very specific in what we add to that group, to make sure we can progress and push forward together.
“I think we’re all very conscious of the fact that we had an excessively large squad for large parts of the season. It was very frustrating for the players that were outside of the matchday squad, and from being a player myself I know how frustrating that can be.
“I’m very comfortable with working with a much smaller squad, and that’s something that we’ll be looking to enforce next season.
“We ended up adding to the squad in January and ended up with a large squad of players.
“All of the successful teams that I’ve been involved with have all been really tight knit groups, that when you get to a matchday situation, everyone feels as though they have a sense of being involved.
“When you get the situation of having a large overspill of players that aren’t involved, as much as you try to keep them highly motivated, it can become destabilising to the squad.
“I’m keen on working with a select group of players who can all improve and develop on a daily basis, and who all have a realistic chance of being involved in any given matchday squad.”
Barry-Murphy also touched on the loan market, and says it is something that he will be looking to utilise next season.
“In the current makeup of the way the regulations are structured, I think it’s something that we have to use as a Club.
“I think everyone within our Football Club is aware of where we stand in relation to other Clubs financially.
“Achieving our League One status is a huge achievement for everyone at the Club and I include the supporters in that.
“There’s ramifications of what we can and can’t achieve in the transfer market, and we just have to comfortable working with lesser numbers.
“We’re being very selective in putting on display a group of players who will reflect what the supporters want, and that they find exciting in all stages of the season.”
The Dale boss also expressed a need to be patient in terms of recruitment, saying he needs to be selective and diligent when acquiring players to improve the squad.
“I’m very conscious of the fact that in this stage of the season, it’s a period where there’s a lot of stuff going on, without much actually happening.
“We’ve got players that we’ve been monitoring for a long period of time. We’ve got plans in place for specific targets that we like.
“Speaking to people around the town and in the area, everyone is aware of players that they would like to have, but we’re very realistic about where we stand in terms of other teams in this league.
“They have the financial clout that we haven’t got, so we have to be selective and extremely diligent in terms of players that we feel can improve the group.
“We’ve done that, and it’s just a case of being patient in terms of acquiring those players that we want, because it isn’t as straightforward as us going out and making offers for players that we would like.
“There’s players that we would love to have, players that we had last season for example, the likes of Ethan Ebanks-Landell and Ethan Hamilton, but it would be naïve of us to think they’ll have bigger and better offers from other Clubs in our division and divisions higher up.
“So we have to be patient, and the only way we can acquire those players is if things don’t fit to suit their needs elsewhere, and we can provide them with a platform, as we have done with, to put themselves back in the shop window for themselves. That’s the way it works, it’s the way that it’s always worked with us, and we’re very comfortable in doing that.”
Watch the full interview on iFollow Dale HERE.