Brian Barry-Murphy expects a difficult challenge against in-form Oxford United on Saturday, but one his side are up for.
Karl Robinson’s side sit sixth in the league table and are unbeaten in their last seven league games, last tasting defeat at the beginning of September.
But after three consecutive victories for Dale, Barry-Murphy says his side are “excited” for the clash.
“We’re against a team that are probably the most in-form team in the country at the moment, so there’s no bigger challenge and it’s one that we’re confident that we can address in a positive manner that befits our Club,” he said.
“We don’t feel as if there’s any game that we go into it feeling inferior because of who we are, or what we’re about.
“We feel as if we can provide a realistic challenge for them and portray our constants and values in the way that we play.
“They’re a team that play the game in a very stylish manner and they achieve runs of results that befits their style. Once they start winning games, they tend to win in bursts and achieve a lot of points in a very short period of time.
“We played each other in March when we were both near the bottom of the table and their run was incredible towards the end of the season and was something that we looked at and took inspiration from.
“We were in similar positions when we played, and they just took off and garnered a huge amount of points over a short period of time.
“They’re obviously a team who play the game in an exceptional way and provide a challenge for us that we’re excited by and one that we see as a great test of where we’re at.”
Tuesday night’s 2-0 win against MK Don’s meant back-to-back victories at the Crown Oil Arena, and three in a row after the 3-1 win at Bolton.
Barry-Murphy believes the attitude of the group lends itself to success.
“It’s been very good, the same as everyday with this bunch of players,” he added.
“They’re very bubbly, enthusiastic and want to get straight back on the training ground. They want to focus on the next challenge, which is Saturday’s game, and beyond that.
“The atmosphere has been exceptional all season really, even in the spells when it’s been tough in terms of results, it’s been constant and one that I’m exceptionally pleased with.
“They’ve gone way beyond what would be termed ‘normal’.
“Their dedication has been exemplary from day one, and the culture that they’re trying to create amongst themselves is one of an elite environment where players of all ages are encouraged to challenge each other and provide that instant competition, which means that every player that’s playing feels a sense of achievement because they have to work for every minute that they spend on the pitch.
“That’s something I’ve always associated with great environments and great teams that I’ve been involved with. The players are very self-driven, and they want to create a culture that embodies that really.”