Manager Keith Hill reflects on Dale’s 1-0 defeat to Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium…
Liam Sercombe’s late winner was a cruel blow for the Dale players, whose performance was deserving of at least a point.
Rochdale had been kept out by the cross bar, had a stone wall penalty turned down, while Peter Vincenti struck just inches wide of the target in the moments before the home-side grabbed the winner.
“Life’s cruel and football is cruel as well,” said Hill.
“In the grand scheme of things, I’m reasonably with what went on but I expected a bit more composure in front of goal.
“You make your own luck and the difficulty is that you’ve got to keep on going and going and going. You’ve got to plough through it and that’s what I expect the players to do.
“It’s difficult for the players and, at times, it’s unexplainable from my point of view because I’m standing here explaining how we’ve lost a game like that.
“For me, it’s a combination of two things – when they penetrated us in the second half they scored the goal while we didn’t score the goal, which is a result of us showing a little bit of a lack of composure.
“And we should have had a penalty. We’ve had a look at it again and it’s stone wall penalty. It’s a combination of mini-mistakes that are absolutely destroying our identity at this moment in time.
“We have to fight, we have to put on that stick on smile and come out believing. It’s important we show character.”
He continued: “It’s important that you show bravery. I can ask for much more, because I’m expecting us not to concede that type of goal and I expect us to score from the opportunities that we’ve created.
“I believe in the squad of players that we’ve got. We’re going through a terrible sequence of results but we have to remain strong.
“It’s the first time I’ve found myself in this situation at Rochdale in all of the time that I’ve been at this football club.
“We’ve got 40 games to make sure we get enough points on the board to retain our League 1 status. That’s what we’ve always been thinking about, regardless of the results that we’ve had.”
The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD.