Brian Barry-Murphy is delighted to have progressed to the second round of the Emirates FA Cup.
Paul McShane’s early goal proved to be the difference in Tuesday night’s replay against Wrexham, setting up a tie against Boston United at the Crown Oil Arena.
The Dale boss admitted his side weren’t at their best, but praised them for their efforts in securing the win.
“I’m delighted with the result,” said Barry-Murphy.
“It was a difficult game and I wouldn’t try to dress it up as anything else. I looked around at our own supporters with about seven or eight minutes to go and their sentiments were exactly what I was feeling.
“But, the players managed to keep it together well I thought and managed the emotional side of the game very, very well, which is what I was looking for really. We’re delighted to go through to the second round and a game against Boston United.
“Hopefully we can progress to where we ended up in the Carabao Cup [third round]. If you don’t do these hurdles on the way to those games, you won’t get there.
“There were parts of the game that were frustrating for everyone. We weren’t great in the first game and we weren’t great in the second game but we managed to win, so I’m just delighted for the players that they get the chance to play in the second round. The big carrot of the third round is there for the Club, which is exciting for everyone.
“As honest as we are in our appraisal of us not being at our best tonight – it wasn’t a free-flowing performance by any stretch of the imagination – I must also say, from our lads’ point of view, Wrexham had limited attempts on our goal.
“Part of our defensive strategy is to keep the ball, and as frustrating as that was for some of our supporters when we weren’t at our best, it provided a way of keeping them away from our goal.
“In the game at Wrexham, we weren’t very good in possession, and as a result we had to do a lot of emergency last-ditch defending. That was demonstrated in Robert Sánchez’s saves and tonight he didn’t really have any saves to make which was pleasing.”
McShane’s opener after eight minutes was the decisive goal in a tight game, although the defender was replaced on the stroke of half-time after picking up an injury.
“Personally, I have a close affinity with Paul. I was asking myself whether I have pushed him back in too soon. We had done all the planning and preparation and he was clear that he was fully fit to go, so I didn’t want to hold him back. We don’t how long he’s going to be out yet, but it wasn’t the same injury as before.
“I think the players deserve credit for their efforts. Similar to the Carlisle game in the Carabao Cup, our lads were out on their feet towards the end of the game. I don’t want to make excuses, but it’s a difficult time in terms of our personnel and where we’re at physically. We were building towards a good stage in our fitness, but we’ve lost players tonight through injury - we’re like the walking wounded in the dressing room!”
Click HERE to watch the full interview with Barry-Murphy on iFollow.