UNDER the guidance of Brian Barry-Murphy, Rochdale are one of the most entertaining teams in the English Football League.
Recent games have included a dramatic 3-3 draw with Wigan Athletic and a thrilling 4-4 away to Charlton Athletic.
Although they have scored just as many goals as the teams in contention for promotion in League One, they also have conceded just as many as the sides in relegation trouble.
Barry-Murphy and Rochdale finished 18th in League One last season. As the club which would be right at the bottom end of the ladder when it comes to spending in the EFL, avoiding relegation to League Two was seen as a big success.
“Sometimes people think I am lying when I say the position in the table doesn’t concern me. I get the biggest buzz of my coaching from seeing players develop and being a tiny part of their journey,” Barry-Murphy told The Totally Football League Show: Extra-Time.
“Just focusing on our performances and the way that we do things. I am certain if we continue to do that, then we will end up in a position which will be very good.
“There are no guarantees as you know because of the competitive nature of League One. But from the very first minute of that, we have had almost two distinct elements of our club.
“They are our own development of players, which has been really evident in the last couple of years and isn’t always easy to maintain.
“But also with that we have combined with the spectacular success of our loan players. What they have gone on to do is almost as much a source of pride.
“Robert Sanchez, in the first team playing with Brighton in the Premier League, after having such a very good little loan experience with ourselves.
“So that parallel journey path has been one of the most poignant parts of what the last two and a half years has looked like for me.”
Rochdale like to play football out from the back. It is refreshing to hear Barry-Murphy’s outlook, as a progressive and process-driven manager.
Player-development is something which he feels is one of the main elements he can provide as the Rochdale boss.
“So my job and my staff’s job is to coach to that philosophy and make sure that our players at Rochdale, that come through our academy, are not asked to do loads of things that would feel totally alien to them.
“That is one of the reasons why I feel as if our young players, coming through our environment, that they feel relatively comfortable and able to express themselves in that manner.
“I do care where we end up because there is a real competitive nature in our dressing room, that we want to be pushing towards the top end of the table and I never want to take that away from the group.
“It is just about me being able to detach myself from the very nature of League One. We lost five games in a row last season, but we still played the same way and managed to progress and develop players in that manner.”
Hear the thoughts of BBM following today's game 🗣️#RAFC— Rochdale AFC (@officiallydale) January 16, 2021