Manager Brian Barry-Murphy reflects on Dale’s stoppage time defeat to Oxford United at the Crown Oil Arena…
“When you concede a goal so late in the game it’s very difficult to take emotionally, especially coming off the back of Saturday [at Gillingham], but I’m generally pleased with how we played, and to bounce back continuously from what happened on Saturday and Tuesday, there are clear signs of progression," said BBM.
"My excitement of working with this group going forward is only tempered by the initial disappointment after what happened in the last minute of the game.”
He continued: “I think we’re in a brilliant place - I’m not trying to spin any propaganda. Where we are - I will talk about the table for once - we were told that we would be marooned by Christmas and be relegation fodder.
“Players have raised expectation levels by their skill and by their performances. We’re on a run at the moment where results aren’t what we want but the performances have been consistently getting better and our attacking play is as good as anybody’s in the league.
“The defensive structure is improving every game but there is individual moments, especially on set-pieces, that we haven’t controlled well, but the volume of set-pieces that we’ve given away is our main area of focus to reduce the workload on our defence.”
He added: “We focus on each aspect of our game continuously in every block of period where we train and that consistency in the processes of the way that we work is performance based, and we know from what we’ve done previously that it leads to results that we want.
“Incessant improvement doesn’t mean that when you concede three or four goals or four set-pieces that you focus on set-pieces for the whole of the week. Some people say maybe you should, but no. We focus on all aspects of our game all the time and getting better at every aspect of it is the key to how we progress as a team.
“Like I said, the players’ personality and they way they responded against a good team, with so many of our squad missing, is exactly what I would want from how our football club should look.”
Watch BBM’s interview in full on iFollow Dale.