Brian Barry-Murphy hopes his players can take belief from their Emirates FA Cup exploits this season.
After taking Premier League opponents Newcastle United to a third round replay, Dale exited the competition at St James’ Park on Tuesday night.
Three first-half goals gave Dale an uphill task, but Barry-Murphy’s side came out fighting in the second-half, grabbing a late goal through MJ Williams to make the scoreline 4-1.
“It was a great evening for us,” said Barry-Murphy.
“A brilliant occasion backed by an enormous following again for us.
“It was a difficult first half in terms of the score line and in our previous cup exploits this season we managed to keep teams out when under pressure, but tonight we couldn’t do that.
“But we came into the second half and gave a very good account of ourselves and managed to score a great goal in front of our fans which was hugely important for us to give them something to celebrate.
“Newcastle tested us with real intent play. They put great quality balls into our box and we have defended crosses really well over the past three or four weeks, but we just weren’t able to do that tonight.”
Goalkeeper Robert Sánchez was replaced by Jay Lynch at half-time, with the Dale boss confirming the substitute was due to injury.
“Robert Sanchez was injured. He hurt his groin early into the first half and he couldn’t continue so, again, it is probably another injury to add to our list – unusually in the goalkeeping department.
“Hopefully it doesn’t seem too serious and the fact we were so quick to act should ensure it shouldn’t be an issue for the weekend.”
Barry-Murphy says his players can take great belief from what they have achieved in reaching the third round of the FA Cup, and in taking their illustrious opponents to a replay.
“If we gain belief from what we have shown we can do against these top teams this season, the test for us all as a club is to show these performances on a consistent basis in the league, which the players have done throughout the season.
“We want to put a consistent run together and the performances will be inevitable, as they have over the last couple of weeks.
“We have played some brilliant football and our guys are in great form. We are really looking forward to the next stage of the season which is upon us.”
The full interview with Barry-Murphy is available to watch on iFollow Dale HERE.