Rochdale lost three players to injury in the first half, forcing the Gaffer to make all three substitutions, which resulted in Dale finishing the game with ten men after Ashley Eastham was also unable to continue.
Speaking after the match, Hill commented: “Maybe the games that we’ve had over this short period of time have been too much of a stretch. We didn’t see it coming because the players played superbly at the weekend with plenty of energy. We had a good rest day on Sunday and obviously a match preparation day on Monday, where the lads were full of energy.
“We had no nervous tweaks or strains, or tightness in the legs, so to pick up those injuries within the first 20 minutes during the first half – wow. And then Ashley Eastham at the end. It’s difficult to explain because we do really well on our preparation work with respect to prehab and we don’t see that type of thing coming.”
Dale gifted three goals to the Latics, something Hill was disappointed with.
“They’re poor goals to concede, regardless of who you are playing against. We don’t concede that type of goal in training so I’m disappointed.
“I feel for the supporters because these nights are difficult, but they make you as a team. They also make you as a football club and we’re still eighth [in the league table], so one thing I won’t be doing is going home and cutting my big toe off because I’m really optimistic.
“I look at them games like we’ve had tonight and I see the opposition bragging. I see the players of the opposition taunting our players at times. When we’ve got games like that, the players can be victims. But if we take aside the three goals, which were poor, I believe there weren’t an awful lot of victims on the pitch from our side.
“They try to do everything they possibly can and things didn’t work out. It wasn’t through lack of effort, or endeavour or commitment on behalf of the supporters, though. It just got so un-cohesive and glue-less that there was nothing those players could do about it, and it probably, if anything, they were using too much energy.
“Sometimes as a manager and a player you’ve just got to suffer, but the great thing about football is that if you’ve got a back bone when you have nights like tonight and there’s a little bit of humiliation, which is rubbed in by opposition players, then you know when we’ve got players like we’ve got, that we’ll come out fighting. And they will do, definitely.”
The full interview is available on Dale Player.