Rochdale will be without George Donnelly for the visit of Wycombe Wanderers this Saturday after the appeal against his controversial red card was rejected on Tuesday.
Manager Keith Hill admits he is disappointed by the decision, but says it is an opportunity for one of a number of players to take their opportunity.
He told Dale Player: “There is a responsibility, there is a respect, there is a discipline in the team but it is getting overshadowed by other people’s mistakes.
"We have got a sound, responsible and respectable squad both in training and on a match day. We show the referee respect, the opposition respect, the opposition fans and our own fans respect, and we have a respect campaign within our own football club. There is a responsibility, but it isn’t our fault."
He continued: “I’m disappointed for George, but I’m pleased about it representing an opportunity for another player, whether it’s an offensive midfield player, or whether it’s an out and out striker. I’ll make my decision on the prospect of facing Wycombe and if it had been a different team then I might have come up with a different option. I’m relatively pleased with the options I’ve got and it gives me the opportunity to change. I like the prospect of the fact that we’ve got young players chomping at the bit – Callum Camps, Jamie Allen, Bastien Hery, Reece Gray, Joe Bunney – and they’re all doing well. There’s obviously Graham Cummins as well and Matty Done, so I’m really pleased.”
Hill is also pleased with the character the players showed against Accrington Stanley last weekend as they held onto their 2-1 lead, despite being down to ten men, to secure their third consecutive victory.
“With every game the players play, they’re being educated towards, not just the oppositions within the league, but each other's game as well.
“Gary Dicker came in cold last Saturday, he hadn’t really played an awful lot of football and hadn’t had a lot of time on the training pitch, but it was important to put him in. I want him up to speed as quickly as I possibly can and the only way I can do that is by playing him. The position that he plays is integral to I want to play and there was no risk for me playing him. He’s getting used to the players that we’ve got and he’s been impressed with the standard in training.
“We’re eight games in and I couldn’t tell you which way the league is going to go. I couldn’t tell you which way the next ten games will go. I’m relatively pleased with winning four out of eight games and if we continue that type of ratio then we’ll be successful this season.”
The full interview is available on Dale Player. You can also view a clip on our official YouTube channel.