Rochdale give backing to Brian Barry-Murphy

Cork native remains hopeful that Dales can avoid relegation to League 2
Rochdale give backing to Brian Barry-Murphy

Brian Barry-Murphy, manager of Rochdale (Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images)

Rochdale manager Brian Barry-Murphy has received the backing of the club’s board with the announcement of a one-year contract extension for the Cork native.

Barry-Murphy (42) was appointed Dales boss in April 2019 on a two-year contract and they are currently bottom of EFL League 1 but it was revealed during an online fans’ forum on Wednesday night that his deal now expires at the end of the 2021-22 season.

A club statement later sought to clarify the matter. “We have had a number of follow up questions about the contract end date for Brian Barry-Murphy,” it said.

“We can confirm that his contract with the Club runs until May 2022. We accept and apologise that communication on this topic hasn’t been up to the high standards we aspire to.”

Rochdale are currently five points away from safety following Tuesday’s loss to Shrewsbury Town. Barry-Murphy told fans that he wasn’t happy with results but is satisfied that the club is united in the fight against relegation.

“I don’t expect a large majority of supporters to be happy with what I’ve done this season or to be impressed with it,” he said, “because, for large parts of the season, I haven’t been.

“The only thing I would say is, on behalf of my staff and my players, is that we’re always looking to work alongside the board. One of the things that makes us the club we are is our alignment and how we’re all together.

“In August, our sole objective was just to have a club and this season, our budget was the lowest, so the fand have to know the context that we worked under, as a whole club.

“By all means, say that it’s been rubbish, but only after knowing all of the facts. In terms of budget, we’re still a long way adrift of everyone else in the division. It’s not an excuse, but it’s important that we understand the work being done in the club.”

Twelve league games remain and the former Cork City, Preston North End, Sheffield Wednesday and Bury player remains optimistic.

“I’ve total belief,” he said.

“Supporters are probably sick of me saying that we played well and didn’t win but that’s what happened last night – we didn’t score any of our chances and conceded two pretty poor goals.

“That doesn’t change what I think the squad is capable of achieving or what I know the players have produced in the past. The perception of us being calm or being okay with the situation couldn’t be further from the truth.

“The players were hurting beyond belief last night, I would go so far as to say that they were heartbroken. My job is to build them up again straightway and not leave them feel that for too long.

“If that’s mistaken for being calm or relaxed with the situation, it’s more a reflection of me than them.”

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