Brian Barry-Murphy wants to continue introducing young players into the first team squad in Tuesday night’s Leasing.com Trophy tie against Bolton Wanderers.
The record for youngest ever Rochdale debutant has been broken in this competition in each of the last three seasons, and the Dale boss says it is very beneficial competition to the Club.
It’s been a great competition for us to introduce our young players, over a period of time, and we saw the fruits of what we produce on Wednesday night [at Old Trafford],” said Barry-Murphy.
“It remains that type of competition that we love and that is very beneficial to us as a Club, so we’ll continue to use it in the same way that we have done previously.
“We have the exact same process we use in that competition all the time. We try and get a team on the field that’s strong enough to represent the Club.
“We’ll probably need to win our next two games to advance from the group which is something we’d love to do.
“The key thing for me is to not become obsessed with the points total and put our players who need to be protected at risk, in terms of the amount of minutes they play.
“Our players have put an incredible amount into the season already, so we aim to protect the ones who are carrying niggles and knocks, and play the players who need to play along with a lot of our younger players.
“That combination is up to me and the staff to try and get right, to try and look after the players with the main aim of playing a strong team to try and represent the Club as best we can.”
Dale and Bolton have met already this season, with Barry-Murphy’s men running out 5-2 winners the Carabao Cup back in August.
“They [Bolton] had a very young team in the Carabao Cup game, but we also had a very young team. The average ages were very similar, so it was a very interesting game from that point of view.
“They’ll probably have a more experienced side this time, whereas we’ll probably be a lot younger in terms of the players we play in this competition.
“It’s a great chance for our supporters, and we really do appreciate them coming to these games, to see our younger players.
“Coupled with the more senior players we will have playing, I think it’s an invaluable source of first-team experience that can’t be replicated anywhere else.”