Brian Barry-Murphy believes Saturday’s meeting with Premier League Newcastle United is one that Dale fans should relish.
Dale overcame Emirates FA Cup replays with Wrexham and Boston United to advance into the third round, and now reap those rewards as the Toon descend on the Crown Oil Arena.
And after a 2-1 victory at close rivals Accrington Stanley on New Year's Day, Barry-Murphy know's his side will embrace the challenge.
“Saturday’s game is a chance for everyone to embrace and show what we’re about and welcome one of the biggest teams that we could face for what will be the first ever fixture against Newcastle in the club’s history," he said.
“It’s another ground-breaking experience for this group of players that have created so many brilliant memories for us already this season and we hope there will be more to come, for the fans to enjoy.
“We didn’t play well against Boston and had to find a way to win, the same with Wrexham but the fans stuck with us and they deserve this fixture for being so patient.
“Everybody was speaking about Newcastle before the Accrington game just hoping that the players were able to focus on that game.
“We saw with the performance how focused they were, and we’re so happy that we were able to get the win that I believe our play deserved.
“It was one of our best away performances and I was so pleased for everybody, especially the supporters who followed us in their numbers.”
Brian Barry-Murphy also provided an injury update, with neither Rhys Norrington-Davies or Aaron Morley available for Saturday’s game.
“All treatment has been done and Sheffield United have helped out greatly with that, so he went back there for initial treatment and he’s recovering well.
“He won’t be available for Saturday’s game, but should be back in training next week.
“Aaron was close to being ready for Accrington, but in the process because I was so keen to have him in the squad, I probably asked him to train a day or two early.
“I don’t think he’ll make it for Saturday and I think Aaron is the same as Rhys, he’ll be back training next week in a view to our next league game.
“To see Paul McShane and Ian Henderson come back in such great shape is testament to their professionalism and how they’ve conducted themselves whilst being out.
“It gives everyone a lift to know that we are gathering strength as we progress into the next part of the season and we are going to be a really strong unit going forward.”