Brian Barry-Murphy believes there were huge positives to take from Dale’s Leasing.com Trophy tie against Manchester City Under-21s.
The visitors came away with a 2-0 victory on the night against a Dale side that contained a number of scholars and first-year professionals.
The Dale boss says he is filled with excitement by those younger players and stated they could be hugely exciting players for the Club.
“I spoke to the players briefly afterwards and I just said that there could be a lot of positives to come from the game in the long-term, and that’s all we work off really,” said Barry-Murphy.
“We try not to get too emotional or disappointed about the result. I’m obviously disappointed to lose the game. We would have liked to have scored more goals, but I thought there was a lot of good individual displays.
“I’m not looking to dress up the performance as anything weird of wonderful, but I thought there was great commitment from our players.
“The age bracket of the team fills me with excitement moving forward. If you take the result away from the game tonight, there were huge positives from loads of different players in the team.
“One of the benefits of having our much-publicised smaller squad this season, is that we have to protect certain players and we can’t use them in every game available to us.
“We’ve progressed to play Manchester United in the Carabao Cup, which is a great opportunity for the Club, but it gives us a very heavy schedule in September, and we have to give players a chance to achieve optimum physical condition as many times as possible in this month.
“We’re guided greatly by Kevin Gibbins and his plans for the whole squad and that has enabled us to play a team full of, what we believe, are going to be hugely exciting players for the Club, both in the short, medium and long-term.
“Those players that played tonight were picked for specific reasons, mainly because of the progress that they’re making at each individual level of the Club. It was great reward seeing them on that pitch tonight.
“If you’re viewing the game in isolation, they [Manchester City Under-21s] have undoubted qualities that allow them to play the game at break-neck speed when they play through you. We were mindful of that, but I thought our lads committed to the game plan in the first-half.
“I asked our guys to be better in possession and be patient. We understand that the supporters want to see goalmouth action and we made a commitment to that at the start of the season, to try and provide as much of that as possible.
“But there is different ways of doing that, and we just didn’t manage to provide as much attempts on goal, for a variety of reasons, tonight. Namely the quality of the opposition, and the calibre of play they possess in their ranks.
It wasn’t for a want of trying from our players, and they worked incredibly hard. We spoke about it at the fans’ forum in pre-season, that as long as that commitment and work ethic is there from our players, then we can have disagreements on the different ways we want to play.
“The players gave everything tonight so I can’t criticise them in terms of that. In terms of our skill level, we can definitely get better and create more options, and we’re fully aware of that.”
Click HERE to watch Barry-Murphy’s interview in full on iFollow.