Read the thoughts of Brian Barry-Murphy following Dale’s defeat at home to Portsmouth…
“It was a difficult game for us in terms of the score line, but for large parts of the game the players did exactly what I wanted, in terms of how they controlled the game and kept Portsmouth away from our goal,” said the Dale boss.
“Parts of our work towards their goal were not as we had planned or practised, but that was down to their good defending and parts of our skills not being quite at the level we wanted in that area of the pitch.
“Everything else was pretty much near-perfect from us. The goals gave them something to hold on to and they’re very good at that. That’s one of their strengths and they were clinical, whereas we weren’t really.
“We had some good chances but I still think we should have had more chances created from our entries towards their goal. That’s something we’re continuing to work on and trying to improve.
“They’re a very strong team and they’ve been at the top of this league for a long period of time, so once they score it becomes difficult to penetrate their backline.
“I thought we were in good positions to do that, but some of our team play towards their final third was not as we planned. We want more goalmouth action for our supporters and to try to reward our build-up play.
“We want to be unpredictable in the final third and have more action in the opposition box. We’re not trying to have possession for possession’s sake, it’s for that reason. We just didn’t get that bit right today and we conceded from one of their rare forays into our box.
“Disappointingly from our point of view, we conceded three goals from three throw-ins, so it’s something for us to work on.”
There were nine Rochdale Academy graduates or current Academy players in the squad for the game, due to the number of injuries in the Dale ranks at the moment.
Barry-Murphy was keen to focus on the bright future for the Club and praised the players that were available.
“I’m not trying to put a spin on it, but it gives me great hope for the future of the Club that we have so many Academy graduates.
“It’s obviously not ideal to bring them all onto the scene at the same time. The squad today was literally what we had available. There were no other players to make available.
“Aaron Wilbraham has been rushed through games in recent weeks. Jimmy Ryan and Calvin Andrew are the same, they both have niggles.
“I commended the players who played, because they’re the ones who displayed incredible courage and gave everything for the cause. They put themselves on offer for the whole game. The last 15 minutes, I’ve been in the players’ shoes, it can be very difficult.
“They put so much into it and then you come up against a team like Portsmouth, who once they get in control of the game, are so hard to play against. That’s why the scoreline was what it was, because we were so emotionally drained from the game and there’s no shame in that.”
Click HERE to watch the full interview with Barry-Murphy on iFollow.