Manager Brian Barry-Murphy reflects on his side’s 3-3 draw with Crewe Alexandra…
“I thought it was a brilliant game, but at the end, it’s obviously easy for me to say that because we came back and played so well,” said the Boss.
“To be honest, I thought we played well for long periods of the game. Worryingly for us, we were 3-0 down having been in no real danger but Crewe are a team that can do that to you and they did it to teams in League Two last year and now in League One. I’m just very happy that the players got the result I feel their efforts deserved.”
Dale staged an incredible second half comeback, scoring three goals to secure a point against the Railwaymen.
“[At half-time], it was about understanding how dangerous they [Crewe] were on the counter-attack and how, when you’re in control and trying to push and mount attacks in the moment of transitions where they win the ball back, they can break at lightning speed. We didn’t manage those transition moments in the first half well enough.
“It was also about [at half-time] trying to manage the lads’ emotions and make them believe that we could get back into the game. The goal after half-time gave us that belief and probably put doubts in their [Crewe’s] mind. It was a really satisfying result for us in terms of coming back and showing that we can play well at home and score goals at home. There was an inevitable buzz in the dressing room after the game.
“It [the second half comeback] is testament to the lads’s willingness to work for each other and to show how together we all are. It’s hard at half-time when you’re losing by that scoreline and you’ve had that before, especially against a team like this having felt as if we had played ok.
“Crewe had very little attacking moments in the first half so to process that and not feel hard done by was hard, but the lads were able to do that and come out and go after the game in the second half. Crewe had some chances in the second half, but if I’m being honest, they were only through our aggressiveness and willingness to throw people forward. I looked on the pitch and said to Lee [Riley] and Kevin [Gibbins] that we’re so aggressive here that the only danger for us is how committed to attack we are, but that’s a good thing for us overall because the lads are putting in everything they can to try and wrestle the game back.”
And BBM admits he would have loved for the fans to have been there to enjoy the celebrations with.
“I don’t want to keep harping back to it but my instant reaction to the equaliser was that I wondered what it would have been like with the supporters here, in that moment when you go from the despair of losing to such a scoreline to being back level and chasing the win.
“I never thought for a moment that the lads looked content with the draw and that’s the characteristics that we want to show for the rest of the season. It’s going to be a very long next spell of the season because there are so many games left, it’s different to anything we’ve done before, so we want to make a commitment to each other that we’re going to show those fighting characteristics in every game. The scorelines will be what they will be, but as long as we show that, we have a pretty good idea where the performances will lead to and that will be results.”
Captain Eoghan O’Connell was forced off in the first half through injury and BBM has confirmed that it is likely the skipper will be out for some time.
“Eoghan has damaged his hamstring. There’s no timescale - but it looked a pretty serious hamstring injury and by the nature of the way it happened, Sam Kelly, the Physio, thinks it could be a significant spell on the sidelines.”
Watch BBM’s interview in full on iFollow Dale.