Manager Brian Barry-Murphy reflects on his side’s 3-3 draw with Wigan Athletic…
“The Crown Oil Arena is the place to be for entertainment at the moment - I think our fans would have enjoyed it if they were here,” said BBM in his post-match interview.
“But we didn’t really enjoy the first half I’m being honest and it was nowhere near the level we want to play at.
“The past two home games have been brilliant in terms of the lads coming together and showing their spirit and what they are about. I have just said to them, though, that I feel as if it's my job to demand the highest standards that I know they can achieve. We haven’t done that in the first half so as a result we left ourselves with a mountain to climb again, and obviously Jim’s red card complicated matters.
“We didn’t play well [in the first half] and we can’t disguise that. Yes, we have loads of different situations to deal with in terms of who is available and who isn’t available, but we’re much more capable than what we showed in the first half in terms of what we can produce, but we just didn’t do it.”
Having been 2-1 down at the break, Jake Beesley drew Dale level just before the hour, and after the Latics responded soon after, Stephen Humphrys netted a 95th minute equaliser to secure a point for Dale.
“As a group as a whole, and I include myself in that, I think we’re inconsistent as a group. We were brilliant at different moments and I think we’ve got the potential to be a really exciting team for the Club.
“Jake has been consistent all the time in the way he has played, his work rate, his effort and his skill. Bearing in mind what he went through at Plymouth, the moment where that ball drops in between him and the goalkeeper, you think back to what happened at Plymouth. But in my mind there was never a second where I thought he wasn’t going to score, because I thought he was one of the bravest players I have ever seen, he has got one of the best jumps I ever seen and the goalkeeper was never going to get to that ball. It was an amazing act of courage from him and fully deserved.
“We’ve proved we can do that [come from behind] and we can score goals. They lads are evolving into a team where when you see them score goals every week, we know we can do that. I thought Wigan’s third goal from our point of view was disappointing but we’ve got Jimmy Keohane and Haydon Roberts defending cross after cross from two big strikers and they did that amazingly.
“The courage those lads at centre-half showed for such a long spell was testament to them. I thought we’d come back and get a chance but I was just disappointed that we left ourselves in that situation again when I felt as if we should have been much more dominant in the first half.”
With Jim McNulty shown red just before half-time, Barry-Murphy made one change at half-time, bringing on Ryan McLaughlin for Kwadwo Baah, to allow Keohane to move to centre-half.
"Naturally I didn’t want to take Kwadwo off at half-time because of the form that he’s in, but we had to find a way to give ourselves a foot hold in the game. We still wanted to remain positive and leave two strikers on the pitch - the lads are really responding to that positive nature - and Ryan McLaughlin gave us an attacking nature on that side that ultimately provided the outlet for that final finish.”
Watch BBM’s post-match interview in full on iFollow.