Brian Barry-Murphy says his players are under no illusions of the hard work needed to reach the third round of the Emirates FA Cup.
Dale welcome Boston United to the Crown Oil Arena on Sunday, with a place in Monday night’s third round draw up for grabs.
Despite the three leagues separating the clubs, the Dale boss insists he doesn’t need to remind his side to focus on the task at hand.
“I never have to remind our lads about the need to work hard or remain grounded,” said Barry-Murphy.
“We’ve had great success in the cup over the last few years and some of our best days have come as a result of the hard work we’ve done in the earlier rounds.
“Our lads are mindful of what it takes to get to those great days and we’re under no illusions of how much hard work and intensity we have to apply to do that.
“I think it’s a great draw. I’m aware of their [Boston’s] intentions to come and get through to the third round.
“From their point of view, they’ll be looking at our form which hasn’t been great in terms of results.
“They’ll have seen the way teams have beaten us, in terms of us dominating possession and still conceding goals.
“But, the way we play and the way we do things is something we really believe in. It’s a game we’re very excited by and we’ve been working incredibly hard since last Saturday to try and implement the things that we can do.”
Barry-Murphy confirmed that Dale would again be without defender Paul McShane, but offered an update on Ollie Rathbone who has returned to training this week.
“I try to avoid using the word unlucky with the players, because we went away from that to focus on our own constant work and to take everything into our own hands.
“However, in the last few weeks I’ll happily admit that I feel really unlucky at the amount of injuries that we’ve had. They seem to have come in very specific areas of the pitch over and over again.
“We lost Tyler Magloire to a horrific injury on the same day as Ryan Delaney had gone on loan to AFC Wimbledon.
“The board backed me to the hilt by saying we could go and get Paul McShane, who is a friend of mine and someone I knew could do an incredible job. Then he gets injured!
“When I analyse that coldly and in my own mind, I do think that maybe I pushed Paul too hard, too soon, knowing that he hadn’t had any football.
“We’re looking for any crumb of comfort at the moment. Not to take away from the players that we have got training, but Ollie is a huge figure in our dressing room and somebody who gives us all confidence when we see him back in action.
“He’s back training so that’s given everyone a lift. How much he can play on Sunday is open to debate, but I’m doing my very best to get these decisions right and not push him back too soon.”
Click HERE to watch the full interview with Barry-Murphy on iFollow Dale.