Manager Keith Hill spoke to Dale PlayerHD following his side’s narrow 1-0 defeat to Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium…
Connor McAleny’s 67th minute goal was the difference between the two sides.
“It was a scruffy goal, there’s no question about it,” said Hill.
"It’s always an uphill task when you’re playing the likes of Wigan who expect automatic promotion and expect to be beating Rochdale.
“But we try and go against the grain and that’s what we did. We had an intent to win the game and it has been made more difficult with the sending off of Ian Henderson.”
Henderson was shown a straight red card in the 33rd minute for his reaction to a rash challenge by Jason Pearce who had scythed him down from behind.
Hill believes Pearce should have received a red card rather than just a booking for the challenge.
“If the fourth official is the one who has had Ian Henderson sent off then he should have got involved in issuing a red card to Pearce.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Wigan and for Pearce as an individual player. I think he’s a stand out central defender and he has played at the highest level, but that challenge is a red card challenge.
“He has gone straight through the back of Henderson and had no intent for the ball and it should have been a red card but it wasn’t.
“You’ve got to give everything you possibly can to win a football match and I think Wigan have done that today. We did as well and we can’t belly ache about it and we can’t spit our dummy out. It’s warfare on the touchline and on the field of play.
“Sometimes the debate between sportsmanship and gamesmanship gets lost and gets sullied because there’s such an importance on winning the football matches. I think today we’ve lost out on what was, if you look at it, probably a double red card situation.”
Dale return to action on Saturday as they host Doncaster Rovers.
“We’re looking forward to the remaining games,” said Hill.
“We’ve got seven opportunities. And they are opportunities when you see the way the players have responded today in adversity. They’re really up for the challenge.”
The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD.