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Barry-Murphy Encouraged By Second-Half Reaction

6 October 2019

Brian Barry-Murphy was pleased with the reaction shown by his side in the second-half of Saturday's game at AFC Wimbledon.

The Dons were 3-0 up inside the opening 30 minutes and carried the lead into the break.

But Dale responded twice through Ian Henderson and had further clear chances to, at least, tie the game.

Dale manager Barry-Murphy said: “I was pretty confident that through the second-half, when we were at our best, we could end up getting something from the game.

“The chances we created through our attacking play deserved that.

“For parts of the first-half, there were elements of our attacking play that were still good, but we added fire to that.

“After that it was chance after chance. It was how many of those we could convert.

“We didn’t defend well enough in the first half and gave away three poor goals.

“I was keen to see how the players reacted after the first-half. It can be very difficult conceding three goals when you are in control of the first-half.

“You can’t always control the score, so the way we reacted in the second-half was very pleasing.

“They gave absolutely everything for the Club at a time when the squad is very stretched.

“The commitment of the players was there for all to see, with players having to play out of position all over the pitch.

“I don’t think the score line represents the full game. We could have equalised and if not, won the game.

“The second-half performance is reassuring for myself and my side going forward.”

Ian Henderson was left out of the starting 11 after picking up an illness overnight.

However, when called upon, the attacker made the difference for Dale off the bench – grabbing two goals.

Despite a mounting injury list, Barry-Murphy is happy with how his players are adapting.

He added: “If I was strictly adhering to the rule book, he wouldn’t have been in the team.

“He wasn’t well. He had a fever and his neck was sore, but he wanted to be on the bench to try and help the team.

“We brought him on probably earlier than advised but he can get goals, which he did, to turn the game in our favour.

“Jim McNulty has had to have a scan on his back and we are awaiting the results of that.

“I don’t want to diagnose the time whilst we don’t know, and we will probably find out Monday or Tuesday.

“Calvin Andrew did a job for the team today out of pure selflessness.

“It was amazing to see him do that for the team, and for the rest of the squad to each other out in the ways that they have.”

“We have a squad this size because of the circumstances we work under, financially, as a Club and we are very proud of that.

“But it gives us chances for younger players to perform in the league and learn on the job.

“We hope to have Eoghan O’Connell and Matt Done back on the training pitch this week.

“But the others are being assessed and we will try get them back as quick as possible.”

Click HERE to watch the full interview with Barry-Murphy.

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