Brian Barry-Murphy has spoken openly about his side’s style of play ahead of Friday night’s game against Portsmouth.
The Dale boss says there was a sense of frustration at a lack of attacking opportunities in last weekend’s game against Coventry City, but one that the squad can learn from.
“It was a disappointing result and the players were as disappointed as anyone really,” said Barry-Murphy.
“Coventry are a top-class side, so to have the opportunity to go toe to toe with them for the majority of the game was testament to our players.
“There was a sense of frustration amongst our players that we didn’t create enough attacking opportunities, which was shared by our supporters.
“On my journey home, at three different venues, someone said ‘we played okay but we could have got the ball forward quicker and created more attacking opportunities’.
“I thought that was a fair assessment of the game and we all shared that opinion. We could have and should have done that, and we would have caused even more problems against a team that we did very well against.
“There was definitely a sense of frustration, but it was a learning experience for ourselves against an opposition that we knew would be difficult.”
The Irishman insists that he and his team take on board the frustrations of the supporters and they are working hard to add more attacking moments to their game.
“I see people all the time in the area and talk about the style of play, which is kind of a buzz word as such.
“It’s very much done because of the way that the Club philosophy is and the way that our Academy has been set up. We’re building on that and adding to it as we go forward.
“Any frustration from the supporters about the way we play is taken on board. We don’t want to go against their wishes or try and bore them to death by having long spells of possession. We don’t want boring bouts of possession in our home games, which has been the case, I get the feeling from them, in certain games lately.
“We’re very proud of a lot of things that we’ve done this season and the next part of that is to add the attacking, constant movements and moments to our game. It’s very hard to get that without having strong foundations in place.
“I just want to make our supporters aware that we very much listen to and understand what they want, and we’re trying to put that into practice on a daily basis. I’m certain that over a period of time they will see that conscious effort to provide them with what they want, which is what we want.
“We have a belief amongst ourselves in the way we do things and it’s not me on some sort of ego trip where I want to implement a playing style for my own benefit. I’m doing it on behalf of the players, supporters and everybody at the Club. That’s not lost on myself.
“I feel incredibly privileged to have this opportunity and we’re improving gradually irrespective of what the table looks like. I feel like we are moving forward and could be on the cusp of something very exciting.
“It would be a defence mechanism for me to say that we’ve had brilliant moments this season. Our play has been lauded and rightly so because our players have been incredible.
“We’ve scored goals this season, and it’s nothing to do with me, that I haven’t seen us score in my time at the Club, in terms of long sequences of movements and incredible attacking goals.
“That takes incredible dedication and practice from the players, but we still very much want to score the other type of goals which are unpredictable and not practiced in sync, as such.
“We want to add that to our game and that then becomes a lethal cocktail. I think the players have been amazing in the way that they’ve approached this season and it’s very important that we assess where we are.
“Over the last two to three seasons, we’ve had sporadic moments of good play, but we have been near the bottom of the table for a long spell. The spells of real brilliance have been more frequent this season.
“There’s some examples in League One of real brilliance, such as teams like Coventry and like Oxford United, who were at the bottom of the table last season like ourselves.
“They have made incredible progress with their own style of play, which is similar to our own. They can go and sign the players for significant sums which add that final piece in the attacking third.
“We can’t do that, but we can develop our own players which can be even more exciting and be our own point of difference which makes us different as a Club and I’ve always felt immensely proud of that.”
Click HERE to watch the full pre-match interview with the Dale boss.