Manager Keith Hill delivered an honest assessment of Dale’s 2-0 defeat to Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium…
“I think we were well beaten tonight,” he told iFollow.
“You could say that we got a lot of encouragement out of the Blackburn display, but tonight was a poor performance.
“I was deeply disappointed with the start of the game. They were on the front foot, they showed more courage and more commitment, and that’s why they took a two goal lead. It could have been more before half time and then they managed the second half.
“With respect to Andy Cannon’s opportunity when it was still 1-0, that is a small margin within the 95 minute game but over the whole course of the game, Doncaster deserved to win.”
Hill made his first substitution on the half hour mark, with Calvin Andrew replacing Keith Keane, and the Gaffer says this was to try and change the course of the game.
“We were sitting ducks. We didn’t lead the team to behave in that manner and we don’t play on the back foot. The human brain plays tricks with you sometimes - when you go out there under the floodlights and the whistle blows, sometimes you can’t see the wood for the trees, and I think a little bit of that happened tonight.”
Matty Done operated in a defensive position on the night, while Joe Bunney played in advanced role.
“With the way Doncaster play, they give you width at times. For me, I thought Matty was superb in the second half. While he’s struggling for form confidence wise, I thought it was a good pick.
“We didn’t lose the game because Matty Done played at left-back. We lost because the group didn’t commit towards the bare necessities and values that win you a football match - we should have been on the front foot.
“There were some good, encouraging performances, but as a team, it was a very underwhelming losing display.”
Steven Davies was forced off through injury less than 20 minutes after coming on as substitute, while Joe Rafferty missed out completely due to injury. Andrew was back involved after missing the Boxing Day match against Blackburn Rovers through illness.
“Joe Raff missed the game through injury,” confirmed Hill.
“And Calvin, I don’t know if I’ve done myself a disservice by playing him tonight, because he’s still suffering a bit but I thought that needs must. Steven Davies has come off after coming on and injuring himself.
“It’s just a question of grasping the mettle. The players have got to perform to a better standard collectively. They are a good group of players but there’s something missing.”
Watch the full interview on iFollow.