Manager Brian Barry-Murphy delivers his post-match assessment of Dale’s 2-1 defeat at Fleetwood Town…
“To lose any game is disappointing,” said BBM.
“We had a lot of adversity today. We lost Eoghan O’Connell very early on and MJ [Jordan] Williams had to drop into the back four, while Jim McNulty had to stay on when he wasn’t feeling 100-percent, so the commitment of the lads was incredible.
“Eoghan was injured so he had to come off. We haven’t got a big squad so it’s imperative that we protect our players and try to miss out on any long-term injuries. Jordan moved back there and he gave absolutely everything for the cause and he was fully committed to playing in that position. I thought the lads coped with the omission of Eoghan against a team who can be one of the most dangerous attacking teams in the league.
“I’d be the first to admit that there can be parts of the game that we can do better in, in terms of an attacking unit, but I thought our defensive play was resolute and committed. The players put everything on the line, and in simple terms, that’s all you can ask of the players. It’s imperative that we back those players and that they continue to learn as we continue to progress forward.
“All we can ask from the players on any given day is that they give everything, and the dressing room is full of players that gave absolutely everything for the football club. You can’t ask any more.”
Rekeil Pyke opened the scoring at the Highbury Stadium with a brilliant finish after a fine move forward, but he had to go off through injury early in the second half.
“Rekeil is in that area of the pitch because he’s a very potent attacking force. Again, it was another loss for us to lose him during the course of the game but we had options and the players coped admirably.
“We played with total commitment to the way we want to play and Calvin [Andrew] came on and gave us an extra dimension in terms of a focal point. We just couldn't create enough chances to trouble Fleetwood and to add to our score line. But again, the lads were magnificent in terms of their effort and I couldn’t ask a single bit more of them.”
Aaron Wilbraham returned to the squad on Saturday having recovered from the calf problem that has kept him out since pre-season.
“It’s great news for everyone. He’s an inspirational figure within our dressing room and one who sets the tone with his example on the pitch. It’s a big lift to everyone at a time when we might have few injury problems.
“But there are no complaints from us. We have a group of players that we fully believe in and who are totally committed to the way we want to play, and we want to move forward as a group.”
Watch the full interview on iFollow.