Rochdale manager explains his decision to skip Irishman Gavin Bazunu

“He didn’t have the international break and he had a very intense block of games.”

Rochdale Manager Brian Barry-Murphy explained the reasons he left out the Irish goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu in their Premier League match against Ipswich Town on Monday.

Gavin Bazunu.

Bazunu – who is on loan from parent club Manchester City – has made 29 league appearances for Rochdale this season.

The 19-year-old made his full international debut for Ireland in their 1-0 home World Cup qualifying loss to Luxembourg before playing the friendly against Qatar which ended 1- 1.

Despite the disappointing results, the former Shamrock Rovers goalkeeper made a big impression in his two games for Ireland, but club manager Barry-Murphy was eager to give the teenager a break after a few long weeks.

“I was very aware that for the past few weeks I have desperately wanted to give Gavin a break,” he said.

“He didn’t have the international break and he had a very intense block of games – and there’s a lot of travel involved as well.

“I’ve been thinking about it for a while and if I’m honest I was seriously considering Friday in Portsmouth but asked him to go back.”

ireland bazunu


Rochdale drew 0-0 in Bazunu’s absence but remains at the bottom of the League One table, four points from safety.

“Today was a great afternoon to give Jay [Lynch] a well-deserved start because he was exceptional at his job, ”added Barry-Murphy.

“The healthy competition between these two guys was in Gavin’s favor and he did really well, but I felt like Jake had to play today.

“It’s easy to underestimate and say he didn’t have much to do, but his job was very clean and I thought he was very self-assured. I thought he complimented the rest of the guys really well in a strong defensive performance and his distribution was great.

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