Brian Barry-Murphy spoke to iFollow Dale following the conclusion of the January transfer window.
Conor Shaughnessy, Conor Grant and Jack Vale joined the Club on deadline day, with Fabio Tavares leaving for Coventry City.
He gave his thoughts on those deals, as well as his overall thoughts on the window.
JANUARY TRANSFER WINDOW
“I’m very pleased overall. It’s obviously different to what happens in the summer, with such a difference in timescale, but we’ve tried to apply the same principles to our recruitment in January as we do in the summer.
“We think ‘would we take this player if we had done in the summer’ and if so, we crack on. If we feel as if we’re being rushed or it doesn’t quite fit the profile of the player we want, then we don’t do anything.
“We have a very detailed way of going about things. Callum [Jones] heads up our recruitment and we all muck in to help him. We have certain criteria that we want to meet and if it doesn’t meet that and we can’t add to the squad, we just decide to do nothing.
“From an early stage we had very clear ideas of who we wanted and luckily quite a few of those guys came in the bracket of what we wanted to achieve, and we were able to get them on board.
“Overall, it gives us a good feeling heading out of what has been a busy month.”
“I think he fits the profile of what we want as a Club. He’s a great age and has a skillset that is very attractive to us.
“He was very highly regarded earlier in his career with Reading, up in Scotland and then at Leeds. We feel he is at a point in his career, similar to Eoghan O’Connell 18 months ago, where is looking to put himself back into that high level of football that he was at, and we feel we can help him achieve that.
“He’s the right kind of character and he’s hugely ambitious about where he wants to go. He ticks a lot of boxes for what we want in that role, in our team.
“Players have to fit certain metrics, or analytics, that we use, but they have to meet what we want as a Club. He’s someone who we think will excite the supporters and who will create that buzz of someone they’re going to look forward to seeing and we’re going to be working with.”
“Despite the joking, one of the criteria isn’t that you have to be Irish! Or from South London as the joke is at the moment!
“Conor Grant is someone who I have watched from afar for quite a while. Without building him up too much, I thought if I ever got the chance to monitor his career, let alone work with him, it would be brilliant. He’s someone who has gone under the radar at Sheffield Wednesday because they are in the height of the Championship season and they have different requirements.
“He’s potentially a very, very talented player who is looking to make a real imprint on the English game. He played with Gavin Bazunu when he was very young, so they have a connect there. He is someone I believe we can give a platform to in league football and if he takes that he will be hugely exciting for the supporters and for us moving forward.
“He’s a naturally gifted player and talented in the final third. I think he has all the attributes to be a top attacking midfield player. There’s no ceiling for him, he could be anything. But he knows he has to go and do it now.
“He’s been in the shadows at Sheffield Wednesday for a while and has been frustrated by that, but there’s good people at Wednesday who will have coached him and educated him well.
“Now it’s our chance to put that into practice, put him into real competitive games and take his game to the next level.”
“It’s a great for us to be able to add players that will be with us beyond this season. We’ve combined both really well recently, in terms of permanents and loans, and it adds to the sense of excitement that the group is forming.
“It’s taken a while to make real progress, but we have a young squad that is capable of providing excitement going forward. The continuation of that will be next season when we feel as if we have a core group that will get stronger and stronger.”
“We were prepared to wait as long as we could for Jack because of his profile and what we know he can do. We were prepared to miss out on him and not add to the squad, but we’re very grateful to Tony Mowbray and Mark Venus for allowing him to come.
“I think it’s a brilliant signing for us, because I have been conscious that we’ve asked a lot of our forward players this season. That’s partly down to finance and partly down to the fact we didn’t add a lot of numbers in August.
“We’ve relied on Jake [Beesley], Stephen [Humphrys] and Matthew Lund to really carry the workload up there, and I just feel as though they needed a hand in terms of the games coming up and how congested that fixture list is.
“Aside from that, Jack was always someone we were keen to bring to the Club, probably in the summer, but now more so in January. It’s very exciting for us to be part of his development going forward and I think he brings something different in that attacking area that we want.
“It’ll be very exciting to see how he develops in what is essentially his first loan spell, having been to Barrow but only for a couple of weeks due to Covid.
“He possesses all the qualities of a top forward player. I’ve seen him for Wales and he is someone they think has a very high ceiling. They obviously see him as someone who is very exciting for them, but we feel as if we can do what we’ve done for other loan players and give them a real platform to get action in what is an amazingly competitive league this season.”
“He’s done brilliant for us. He had some great moments last season and indeed this season, with the winner against Fleetwood Town which will live long in the memory.
“Fabio informed us last week that he wouldn’t be signing a contract with the Club, and as such from that moment onwards, we have a responsibility to do the best by our Club, and the Coventry move is a good one for him.
“It’s a good opportunity to progress his career in whatever direction he can. He leaves with my best wishes. He’s been with us for a while and we take great pride in what he’s done and hopefully what he’s going to do in the future.”
Click HERE to watch the full interview with the Dale boss on iFollow.