Brian Barry-Murphy’s Rochdale host Newcastle in the FA Cup on Saturday afternoon, a little over three months after taking Manchester United to penalties in a Carabao Cup tie. A manager also earning compliments for the attractive football his team play and the number of academy graduates he promotes could easily get used to the high life but Barry-Murphy has a natural antidote to prevent his feet ever leaving the ground w88thais.com
“I just nip home,” he says, home being Cork. “My friends in Ireland are never slow to tell me I’m going to get my comeuppance. Every time I’m over there I get a strong sense of ‘who do you think you are?’ We have a reputation for playing stylish football, so everyone tells me I’ve been watching yer man at Manchester City too much.
“I went back for a funeral last week and they were all saying I’ve got cup luck to keep getting paired with such big opponents. I tell them you have to win through the early rounds to even have a chance of cup luck. We’ve beaten Boston and Wrexham to get this far, so we do feel we deserve it. When I was a player at Rochdale we could never get past the League One and Two teams we drew in the first round. My FA Cup memories before I became a coach are nonexistent ww88
Though relatively unknown in this country Barry-Murphy is a famous name in Ireland, owing to his father Jimmy’s prowess in hurling and Gaelic sports. “I don’t want to big him up too much but I know exactly how Darren Ferguson feels about always being associated with your dad,” he says. “My dad is a similar figure to Sir Alex in Irish sports, incredibly well-known. When I sneaked over to the UK I escaped that. I just kept it on the quiet, though I’m happy to say Jimmy will be coming over for the Newcastle game.”
Barry-Murphy was nervous when tasked with taking a young side to Old Trafford, particularly as there was something of an injury crisis at the time. “We don’t have the biggest of squads in the first place. That’s how we ended up with a 15-year-old on the bench and a 16-year-old [Luke Matheson] scoring our goal. I was worried going into the game because I felt responsible for those lads, I thought some of them might get exposed. It was a big learning curve for me personally too, because I have never experienced anything on that scale, but once the game started we all felt strangely at home.
“We were OK in the end, irrespective of how the game finished we showed what we are about, how we can play and how our academy players can step up and do the same. To be able to show all that on such a grand stage made us all as proud as punch.”
The 41-year-old suspects some of his players might have preferred another away game at a leading ground this time, though he knows they are excited about being on television again and Spotland will be full for a change. “We find it hard to sell our stadium out. We’ve never done it before in my time, even when we played Tottenham a couple of seasons back. It’s good for the players to play in front of a full house, it gives them a sense of how well they have done w88 casino
“I keep trying to point out that staying in League One is our real priority, that we can’t lose our main focus just because Andy Carroll is coming to town but I learned from the Manchester United game that there’s no point doing that. If the lads are excited about a game just let them be. There’s nothing wrong with it and hopefully the league form will take care of itself.”
If that sounds a little cavalier, Barry-Murphy admits he enjoys the challenge of being brave in a league where many are dour and pragmatic. “We know the way we like to play and I enjoy seeing the lads have the balls to stick to it,” he says. “It doesn’t always work but when it does, it’s great. Of course my friends in Ireland think I’ll be back with them permanently soon, because in England it’s all about getting results and not the way you play, but I’m here to try to prove them wrong.”