Brian Barry-Murphy was pleased with his side’s second-half display against Bristol Rovers on Saturday, but ultimately left frustrated at not finding an equaliser.
Dale were 2-0 down inside 11 minutes and despite Callum Camps’ goal just before half-time, Barry-Murphy’s side couldn’t draw themselves on level terms despite a dominant performance after the break.
The Dale boss was disappointed that his side were left to chase the game after conceding two goals in three first-half minutes.
“In the first-half I thought we had pretty good control, but the main disappointing thing for us as a group is that we were 2-0 down for no other reason apparent than individual errors and a collective error,” said Barry-Murphy.
“That’s the frustration. We don’t want to be going behind in games, but we just aim to work harder so that when we’re in control of games, we can turn that into dominance and not have to be chasing the game all the time, because I don’t think it’s fair on our lads to have to do that.
“We were pretty relentless in the second-half. We created a lot of chances that we felt our play would. What we’ve worked on in previous weeks manifested itself in the second-half but we just couldn’t find the final element of that in scoring a goal.
“No team or players want to give a team a head start, it just happens in games, and the only way of eradicating that is practicing really hard at skills that will you even better, so that every element of our defensive structure as a team is improved upon.
“We’ve been defending set pieces really well for a long period of time, and in the last two games we’ve conceded from two set pieces.”
Camps’ seventh goal of the season just before half-time brought Dale within a goal of parity and it was a goal that pleased Barry-Murphy.
“Our goal was a brilliant goal and it was testament to the players’ courage because they continued the way we wanted to play.
“We started to get a real attacking penetration in the final third against a team that were sitting deep, and they were entitled to do so because they were winning the game 2-0.
“From their point of view, it was a solid away performance. But, from our point of view, we penetrated that back-line time and time again in the second-half.
“The players’ ideas and creativity were exactly how I would want it to be, and the staff that worked with them in implementing those ideas over and over again. We just couldn’t find the final part of that.”
Dale players and fans’ alike thought they had a good shout for a penalty when Paul McShane was hauled to ground in the penalty area during the second-half, a view which the boss agreed with.
“My honest assessment was live – and I haven’t watched them back – was that I when I saw the one in the first-half [when a Bristol Rovers player went to ground in the Dale area], I was a touch worried, because when you’re involved in that lock of bodies, you’re in the lap of the gods in terms of what the referee will do.
“I have a stronger view on the one on Paul McShane, which I thought was a definite penalty. It looked very much like a rugby tackle! The lads felt, and it’s probably my job to not make them feel this way, that the fact a penalty hadn’t been given in the first-half was going to determine that we would have to be lucky to get one in the second-half.”
Click HERE to watch the full interview on iFollow Dale.