Manager Brian Barry-Murphy looks ahead to Saturday’s League One fixture against Peterborough United…
“It has been a great week for us in terms of our preparation and it [having no Tuesday night game] has given us a clean lead in to the game against Peterborough, which we’re pretty excited about," said the Boss.
“It had been a pretty hectic schedule previously, so to have that time together and have a chance to recover and plan for the match is only beneficial to us.
“There are loads of different scenarios that are new for us this season. The pure intensity of the fixture schedule has been groundbreaking and it has been interesting to see how we’ve dealt with that.
“Last week was the extreme in terms of going to Plymouth, having that great victory, returning from there and then almost getting into training on Thursday and Friday still in recovery mode, before having to go again on Saturday.
“For whatever reason we didn’t reproduce what we had done on Tuesday night against Plymouth against Lincoln City, but I think there’s good reasons for that and it’s important to be understanding of that from my point of view and to allow the players to focus on the positives, while working on what we want to do better.”
Saturday’s game will see Dale play in front a crowd for the first time since March, with 2000 Posh fans set to back their team this weekend, following the Government’s decision to allow clubs in tier 1 and 2 areas to welcome back supporters.
The Boss says he hopes fans can also return to the Crown Oil Arena very soon.
“There has been loads of talk about when it will happen so with it happening at some clubs, the biggest exciting thing about that is that it can only mean having supporters at our home games will hopefully happen soon.
“Our restrictions are slightly more severe but we hope that can happen next week when the tiers are reviewed. We’re excited about having that feeling of what an actual game feels like again.
“I suppose having your home support there will been seen as an advantage to the home team but I think results have been quite mixed for the teams that have had supporters back over the last week, so we’ll just been looking to treat the game on its merits and deal with whatever comes up during that game.”
Rochdale were beaten 6-0 when the two teams met at the Weston Home Stadiums last season and BBM says he and the players took a lot from that game.
“I’ve tried not to think too much about last season’s game there, bearing in mind it was a difficult day for us! But thinking back to last season, some of our most productive spells were when things got really difficult and Peterborough was a prime example of that.
“The scoreline was pretty emphatic in their favour and we took loads from that and we learned loads from it. When you look back over the course of a season you naturally think about the most enjoyable moments, but the most productive learning moments can be the really difficult days, and myself and the whole group took loads from that. Even the players who have moved on that I speak to regularly, they reference that as being a great learning day for them.”
And BBM provided an injury update ahead of the game.
“It has been a difficult spell for us in terms of losing key players who have become integral parts of our team. Jake’s injury was more than a normal injury and was hugely worrying for us all, but he’s coming towards the end of his protocol for his return to training. Ollie Rathbone had a bad injury last week - he’s seeing the specialist today so we’ll have an exact time/ the extent of how long he’s going to be out for after that. We have had some good news, though - Paul McShane has returned to training and he’ll be available for the weekend so that will give us all a lift”
Watch Brian Barry-Murphy’s post-match interview in full on iFollow.