Goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu has praised Dale’s defenders following Saturday’s goalless draw with Plymouth Argyle at the Crown Oil Arena.
Speaking to www.rochdaleafc.co.uk after the game, he commented: “It [the clean sheet] has been a long time coming.
“I thought the lads were brilliant defensively and having Paul McShane back in was brilliant - he’s a big presence for us. We defended the box really well - we struggled to play a bit - but as a defensive unit I was delighted with the way we were so secure at the back, especially in the second half. In the second half we left them no real chances, so that was brilliant.”
Bazunu who turned 19 on Saturday pulled off a magnificent save after three minutes, when he kept out the Pilgrims’ only clear-cut chance of the gane, denying Tyrese Fornah’s point-blank header.
“That’s really the only time I was tested in the game. They worked it well down the right-hand side and crossed it in and it was an instinctive save, but that’s what my job is - to make those crucial saves in the key moments. The lads were brilliant that I only had to make one all game.”
And Bazunu believes Saturday’s clean sheet with give the side added confidence moving into Tuesday’s game against Northampton Town and beyond.
“Massive, because we’ve struggled to keep clean sheets and we’ve struggled with conceding early on in games, so keeping a clean sheet in this game should really just boost our confidence.
“We’ve not really struggled scoring goals, so keeping clean sheets is just as important if not more important. We know that we can score and we know that we can keep clean sheets, so we just need to carry that defensive performance that we had today into the game on Tuesday.”
Bazunu was sidelined for a two month spell after sustaining an injury whilst away on International duty with the Republic of Ireland U21s in November and he admits that he’s pleased to be back involved.
“It was a bit of frustrating injury - I broke my finger in training when I was away on international duty. That kept me out for six weeks but luckily I didn’t miss too many games because of that fact that we had two weeks off due to Covid within the squad, so I was happy that I didn’t miss too many games.
“I took the opportunity to work a lot in the gym with the strength and conditioning coaches here to improve other aspects of my game.”
Watch Gavin’s post-match interview in full on iFollow.