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BBM's Post-Match Reaction - Sunderland

7 March 2021

Manager Brian Barry-Murphy on Dale’s 2-0 defeat to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light…

“It feels very disappointing in the dressing room at the moment. The lads gave absolutely everything,” said BBM in his post-match interview as he assessed the performance. 

“We created some really good chances and kept Sunderland at bay for the majority of the game, so we feel like we did everything but score today. That will change but only if we keep on doing the things we did today and do them better.”

The Black Cats opened the scoring after seven minutes when Dion Sanderson headed home from a free-kick to the back post. Dale rallied, though, and Jimmy Keohane had an opportunity to draw Dale level, which he hit over the bar, before the hosts doubled their advantage moments later. 

“We were caught cold [for their first goal] which is disappointing from our point of view with the set-piece which we have been defending really well. We created really guilt edged chances, and to see the run of Jimmy Keohane to get into that area of the pitch was really good for us. The fine margins are so obvious when we have that chance and all of a sudden they go up the other end and score.

“It can change the complexion of the game and it can easily distort your view of the overall game. The lads put everything into the game and are very excited for the rest of the season. It’s important that we can bounce back quickly again when the games are so close, and be able to do that on Tuesday night.”

In a second half that was overall evenly matched, Dale produced the best opportunity of the 45, when Morley fed in Humphrys with a low free-kick and the forward’s strike, which looked to be headed for the bottom corner, was superbly turned round the upright by the Sunderland ‘keeper. 

“The performance and the expression of the players is everything, because it’s very easy to get distracted by the stage of the season or what’s going to happen or might happen. We can only control the way that we perform and everybody in that dressing room is so desperate to do well for the supporters, themselves and the club. It’s not always easy for them emotionally to not feel so disappointed that they can’t reproduce that effort.

“But, you know, our luck will change and we’ll score goals and we’ll win, but we can only do that by focusing on the performance and staying together and really intently focus in on what we want to do. 

“The excitement in the players this week has been for today’s game to show that we could build on Tuesday’s performance [at Hull], and that has to be the only thing we focus on for Tuesday night’s game [against Shrewsbury]. There’s real excitement in the changing rooms for the rest of the season and that can’t change at any stage over the remaining games.”

Watch BBM’s post-match interview in full on iFollow.

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