Wednesday 22 January 2020

'We're very confident we can play even better' - Brian Barry-Murphy eyes Newcastle shock

Rochdale manager Brian Barry-Murphy. Photo: Getty Images
Rochdale manager Brian Barry-Murphy. Photo: Getty Images

Brian Barry-Murphy says his Rochdale players are giddy with excitement ahead of tonight's FA Cup third-round replay at Newcastle.

The League One club earned a trip to St James' Park when 40-year-old striker Aaron Wilbraham scored a late equaliser in the 1-1 draw at Spotland earlier this month.

It is a second glamorous away day for Dale this season after they played Manchester United - and took them to penalties - in the Carabao Cup in September.

Their Cork-born manager Barry-Murphy said: "Since Saturday's game everyone's been talking about what's going to come on the night, and obviously there's a giddy excitement amongst our players of anticipation.

"The first game at our home stadium was amazing really and felt kind of like a cup final appearance for our town. Hopefully that will be the same again.

"We've brought huge numbers to our away games this season and Old Trafford was probably the pinnacle, so I think the general feeling among the players is, if we can get anything like that support again it will be a memorable occasion irrespective of the result."

Barry-Murphy believes his side can really trouble Newcastle if they produce a similar level of performance.

He said: "We're very confident we can play even better and give a better account of ourselves and make everyone proud.

"But the big variable - and big problem - is probably that Newcastle will too, and be even better in their home stadium."

Wilbraham, who came off the bench to score their equaliser, says they will relish their underdogs role.

"I think we can go there with no fear after the way we played in the second half," he said. "The pressure is on Newcastle, their fans will be expecting them to beat us. We've got to go there and try to enjoy the underdog tag and hopefully get the right result."

Irish Independent

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