Manager Brian Barry-Murphy looks ahead to Sunday’s Sky Bet League One fixture against Portsmouth…
“Coming off the back of Tuesday night’s game - it was a difficult game for us in terms of the result - but it was very productive in terms of our fitness and our building towards where we want to go. There were no injuries and everybody is feeling relatively good going into the weekend’s game.
“It’s important that myself and the players remain focused on performances and the way want to train and progress, as well as remembering where we are. There’s only one league game gone and two cup games. We’re in the very early stages of the season so it’s important not to get too distracted by the result at Swindon, despite the fact that, as a group, we were very disappointed in the way we played.
“We wanted to bounce back from that which we did on Tuesday night as we continue our progress into Sunday’s game”.
Sunday’s match against Pompey is Dale’s first home league game of the campaign and BBM says everyone is looking forward to the fixture.
“It’s one that we’re really excited about.
“We’ve had, what we think, are some good games against them over the last couple of years. Kenny [Jackett, Portsmouth Manager] and their team will rightly tell you that they’ve beaten us heavily in all three of those games, but we have been in those games for long spells and I would suggest we controlled them for good spells, too.
“They have a goal scoring squad that have done that over the course of couple of years and they have been up there from the start of the season right through until the end. We’re fully aware of how good they are and how dangerous they are, but they are a team that we don’t fear and a team that we’re really looking forward to playing against.”
Having signed a two-year deal with the Club last Friday, Stephen Humphrys joined up with the squad on Monday and has completed his first week of training with the team. The Boss says he’s settling in well.
“Stephen is a very popular guy here. He has established himself in league football now, having been at Fulham when he came here previously. What we see in Stephen is a guy who has grown to be a real leader and someone the young players can really look up to and learn from.
“He’s at that stage in his career where he wants that responsibility and that’s great. But again, he’s only just starting out with us and it’s imperative that we all have a patience and an understanding of where he is, exactly like the rest of the lads, and we can focus on our long-term plan, rather than being obsessed with how he plays on Sunday.”
In terms of recruitment, BBM is still looking to make more additions to his squad.
“We’re very hopeful of doing that. Without wanting to take the focus away from the guys that we have here, because we believe that we have 12, 13, 14 players who are top players in League One, we’re still, at the moment, looking for two or three.
“They are specific guys that we’ve identified and hopefully we might get them in over the next few days, although it might be a little bit longer that, and we’ll just have to show patience on that.
“Everybody at the Club is doing their very, very best to get those people in and hopefully when we do, it’ll make us all very excited and enhance the good feeling that we’ve got amongst the squad already.”
Watch the Boss’ interview in full on iFollow.