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Rochdale manager explains decision to leave out Ireland’s Gavin Bazunu

Championship irish

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

Rochdale manager Brian Barry-Murphy has explained the reasons why he left out Ireland goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu in their League One tie 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 qualifier defeat to Luxembourg before going on to play in the international friendly against Qatar which finished 1-1.

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

bazunu rochdale

“I was very conscious of the fact that for a few weeks I’ve been desperate to give Gavin a breather,” he told rochdaleafc.co.uk.

“He didn’t get the international break and he’s had a very intense block of games – and there’s an amount of travelling involved too.

“It’s been on my mind for a while and, if I’m being honest, Friday at Portsmouth was where I was seriously considering it, but I asked him to go again.”

bazunu ireland

Rochdale.

Rochdale earned a 0-0 draw in Bazunu’s absence but remain bottom of the League One table, four points adrift of safety.

“Today was a great afternoon to give Jay [Lynch] a deserved start, because he’s been exceptional in his work,” Barry-Murphy added.

“The healthy competition between both of those guys has been falling in favour of Gavin and he has done really well, but I felt as if Jake had to play today.

“It’s easy to underestimate and say he didn’t have a lot to do, but his work was very clean and I thought he was very assured. I thought he complimented the rest of the guys very well in a strong defensive performance and his distribution was excellent.”

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