Brian Barry-Murphy is in his first season leading the charge of the Manchester City U21, the former Rochdale boss has certainly earned praise from around the club for his coaching performance thus far on the 2021/22 season.
Barry-Murphy has guided the team to an unbeaten start in all competitions (six wins, one draw). He arrived at the Etihad Campus after spending two years at the helm of Rochdale. He served as caretaker manager for a month following the departure of Keith Hill.
He was no stranger Spotland Stadium, having spent eight seasons with the Dale (2010-18) as a defensive midfielder. Prior to that, he played six seasons and made 218 appearances for Bury (2004-10), scoring 13 goals in the process. Barry-Murphy holds a small piece of history at Bury scoring the club’s 1,000th goal in a 2-2 draw to Wrexham.
Manager Brian Barry-Murphy
On the play of James McAtee…
“James [McAtee] is symbolic of the whole team. I knew the [Crystal Palace game] was going to be a very tough test for him physically. There were stages of the game where he found that hard, but he finished strongly. He looks a real goal-scoring threat.
“I think it’s important for players like James that he gets these challenges of playing in [difficult games] so he is adapting to that schedule of Wednesday and Saturday similar to that he is going to face in the very near future.”
On being a part of the Papa John’s Trophy…
“I think it’s a brilliant competition. I think the demands of this week means the club will have a first-team game in the Carabao Cup and then in the Papa John’s as well.
“That combination will be really exciting because in terms of the exposure I hope our players will get.”
On playing Doncaster Rovers and the challenge it presents…
“Doncaster Rovers will be a really competitive game because they will want to get their season kick-started. So, it will be a great fixture for our guys and another great test. Irrespective of the result, it will be an amazing night for us.
“From my experience, the EFL clubs treat it very importantly. Combine that with playing against ourselves, getting to go to stadiums and play against players that we don’t face every week. We have to expose our players and push them through as many tests as we can, and Tuesday’s game will be a very important part of that.”