Rochdale boss Brian Barry-Murphy believes the experience his team’s younger players got at The Valley will aid their development as he hailed Charlton as League One’s best team over recent months.

Daniel Adshead, a 17-year-old midfielder who once reportedly caught the eye of Manchester United, started the game alongside 19-year-old Aaron Morley in the middle of the park.

And while Barry-Murphy had a range of senior players on the substitutes’ bench at his disposal he also handed an opportunity to Lewis Bradley, also 17.

The trio were in for a rough afternoon, as Charlton went three goals up by half time before adding another late on for a thumping 4-0 victory.

The Manager of the Month nominee for April, who insisted Dale wouldn’t show any complacency at Charlton, conceded that Dale fell short of what the Addicks came at them with.

“I think it's a good experience for all our players [to play in a big stadium like The Valley],” Barry-Murphy said after the game. “I think this game keeps you humbled constantly and there were parts of Charlton's play that was just too good for us on the day.

“Those players that you mentioned [Adshead and Morley], they've been exceptional for me all season and under the previous manager [Keith Hill].

“They've been pushing the players constantly so they deserved the chance to play today.

“We've had players who have been playing through the pain barrier on a weekly basis, and to ask them to go and do that again in the last game of the season, when the result wasn't paramount, would have been selfish on my part, of my own needs, I think.

“I had to put the players before myself, and that in turn led to those young players getting a great opportunity to experience playing against a top-class team, and arguably the best team in the division on what we've seen in the last five or six weeks.”

Asked about 17-year-old Bradley’s involvement, he added: “Again, it wasn't a difficult decision. Lewis has been doing brilliantly in our practice matches and pushing into the first team environment, and he's going to be a fantastic creative player for the club.

“I thought it was a unique opportunity to get him into a high-class game and [it was] a great experience for him, really.

“Our senior players were fantastic and looked after him accordingly in what was a difficult game for a lot of our lads.”