Brian Barry-Murphy is “forgiving” of the team’s performance against Wycombe Wanderers, after an “important week” for the Club.
Wednesday night’s trip to Old Trafford left only one day to prepare for the Sky Bet League One clash, opposed to the week’s preparation afforded to the visitors.
“It was a very difficult game for us,” Said Barry-Murphy. “We played against a team who have been performing well all season and sit high up in the table.
“We weren’t able to create enough pressure to sustain against them and, on the flip side of that, we conceded some very poor goals.
“The result didn’t go our way today, but it must be understood the players put absolutely everything into the game midweek for the Club.
“We have to be forgiving of that because there are reasons why we performed like we did today, which are clear to me.
“I wasn’t being pessimistic before the match when I spoke of how difficult this game would be.
“We had seen how much the Manchester United game had taken out of them.
“I tried to freshen it up with the team selection and we could have done better tactically.
“We weren’t under huge amounts of pressure and there were times where we controlled possession well, but we weren’t as punchy as recent weeks.
“We were unable to produce the attacking movements we have been known for, but the players gave absolutely everything and I couldn’t ask for anymore.”
Jimmy McNulty came close to reducing the deficit 2-0, crashing a header against the woodwork from a well-worked set-play.
Further opportunities fell to Callum Camps and Stephen Dooley, but ultimately Dale fell short.
“I don’t think they were able to expose the team. There were moments we could have controlled better.
“But we have been very good defensively over a long period of time, so we have to keep working on that.
“We never let up in our desire to improve those skills and that will be the case - irrespective of this result.
“There were a few chances I thought we could have scored from. Jimmy McNulty was very unlucky not to score with a header.
“His performance was outstanding today and I thought he deserved a goal.
“If you look back there is a lot of ifs, buts or maybes. But if you spend too much time dwelling on it, it takes away from what has been a very productive week for the Club.
“We are keen to now focus on training and improving for Bolton on Tuesday and AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.”