Manager Brian Barry-Murphy reflects on Dale’s 0-0 draw with Ipswich Town at the Crown Oil Arena on Easter Monday…
“I thought it was a tough game,” said BBM.
“I thought our lads put everything into the last two games - the one on Friday and today. We’ve had loads of games this season where we’ve played well and probably haven’t got what we felt we deserved.
“Today I thought we defended resolutely and I thought we were in the game for the whole game. I thought we were the team likely to win it, in difficult conditions. I’m just really proud of the lads for the amount effort they put into the game to get a result at home.”
Monday’s result means Dale have lost just one of their last four games, following the win over Lincoln City and the draws with Peterborough United and Ipswich Town, losing only to Portsmouth.
“We played really well in terms of style and possession in the second half at Portsmouth on Friday but ultimately got beaten. The lads are at the stage of the season where they want to perform to the highest level but they want the feeling of getting the results, and that’ll give us a strong basis in terms of where we go next week. We’ve played four of the top eight teams in the league in the last four games and we’ve been the dominant force in a lot of those games. The points that we have from those games gives us a lot of encouragement as we push towards the next phase of the season.”
He continued: “If you were to analyse the game, both goalkeepers had little action, but that’s not to be frowned upon from our point of view. There have been games both home and away where has there has been loads of action and we haven’t got what we wanted.
“The overall performance from our lads today was one full of character, resilience and commitment on behalf of everybody at the club, and to see our lads still being expressive in the second half, like I said, in difficult conditions is testament to where we are.
“The squad is in a very good place mentally and psychologically, and physically we’re in a great place. We’re very focused on the players that are available, but we will surely have players back to add to our squad which puts us in a position of real strength as we head towards the next phase of the season.”
In one of two changes for the game, Jay Lynch replaced Gavin Bazunu in goal.
“I was very conscious of the fact that for a few weeks I’ve been desperate to give Gavin a breather. He didn’t get the international break [due to his call-up to the Republic of Ireland squad] and he’s had a very intense block of games and there's amount travelling involved, too.
“It’s been on my mind for a while and, if I’m being honest, Friday at Portsmouth was where I was seriously considering it but I asked him to go again.
“Today was a great afternoon to give Jay a deserved start, because he’s been exceptional in his work. The healthy competition between both of those guys has been falling in favour of Gavin and he has done really well but I felt as if Jake had to play today.
“It’s easy to underestimate and say he didn’t have a lot to do but his work was very clean and I thought he was very assured. I thought he complimented the rest of the guys very well in a strong defensive performance and his distribution was excellent.”
Meanwhile, Paul McShane made way for Haydon Roberts, in a second change to the eleven that lined-up against Pompey.
“I hadn’t planned on using Paul in this game. I had planned to use either Haydon Roberts or Jim McNulty in this game from quite a way back based on what I saw of the opposition and what I thought is best for us.
“Haydon just looked very good physically so it was quite hard on Jimmy, because again, Jimmy has done nothing wrong. I thought Haydon was excellent in all phases of the game. I thought he had an outstanding game.”
Watch the Boss’ post-match interview in full on iFollow Dale.