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I Felt We Could Get Something - McNulty

2 April 2024


I Felt We Could Get Something - McNulty

2 April 2024

Jimmy McNulty says he always felt Dale could take something from Monday’s game at home to Hartlepool United.

His side had to play the second half with ten men following the dismissal of Kairo Mitchell just before the break.

Joe Grey put the visitors ahead midway through the second period, but Devante Rodney’s injury time equaliser earned Dale a deserved point.

“There was a real togetherness shown and a real will to survive,” said McNulty.

“One of the things that was said at half-time, from myself to the team, was that I wanted to see a willingness to embrace suffering.

“We had to suffer to have any chance and I thought, unless we got something from a set piece, that our chance would open up late in the game.

“It turned out that way. Through brilliant fight and togetherness, an unreal willingness to run, knowing that we were going to suffer without the ball, on a real heavy pitch that takes it out of your legs.

“I had my concerns for the team, but I always believed that they were willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good – that greater good being a potential result.

“I felt like we could get something, that late on we could develop one-v-ones, and it was one of those games that from half-time onwards, played out how I thought it would, after what was a very disappointing decision from the referee.”

Asked what was said to the players at half-time, McNulty commented:

“Looking at the makeup of the team that we had on the pitch, we felt it would be a survival situation.

“We had to try and break the will of Hartlepool, to try and send a message that in open play they weren’t going to break us down. I felt like they would want the ball in our box and would potentially be impatient to do so, given where they’ve been at recently.

“I felt like we had the skills on the pitch to cope with that and that we could counter-threat. I didn’t feel like we could counter-threat for the first half of the second period, I felt that would have to be a backs-to-the-walls situation.

“I think the fact that they only scored from a corner, when numbers don’t matter as much and it's a physical match-up, which we’ve been brilliant at all season if I’m honest, we lost one of those, which happens. That was a shame and I thought that could be a challenge to our will.

“My focus was on the players individually. Was I seeing fight from them, a commitment to the game plan and did they truly believe we could get something. It played out that way, they kept that belief.”

Watch the full interview with McNulty below via our official YouTube channel.

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