Manager Keith Hill reflects on Dale's defeat to Walsall at the Crown Oil Arena...
Rochdale went two goals behind before Callum Camps halved the deficit, but Hill’s side couldn’t find an equaliser despite late pressure on the Saddlers’ defence.
“We were 2-0 down and we shouldn’t be,” said Hill.
“No matter how hard this group is working, we can’t make the mistakes that we’re making.
“Sometimes it goes against you but you’ve got to fight hard and stick to your principles. You’ve got to have a winning mentality, even in defeat.
“The game was too slow and we played into the opponents’ hands. We got through the units well, with respect to getting the ball where we needed to, then it became slow and predictable, which is what the opponents want – they’re very good at sitting and, I suppose, picking your pocket, and that’s what happened.
“We’ve got to make sure that we don’t ebb too much into the confidence of the players. It was a disappointing day because we had a lot of the ball, and on 31 minutes their first opportunity was gifted to them and they took advantage.
“I won’t complain about the way the opposition play to win football matches, there’s no wrong way. There were a lot of disruptions - it was a slow game and I think the referee also played a slow game with too many whistles."
He continued: “I think there was a bit too much caution. I think they realised the amount of goals we’ve conceded in the last three games takes you on the back foot a little bit.
“We were predictable in possession, and again, you want an intensity whether it’s going direct or whether you’re trying to play through the units.
“When you get through the units, you should be staying out and making sure you get crosses into the box with quality. I can understand there being a little bit of anxiety, but not the amount we’ve seen today.
“It comes down to how you want to play the game as an individual player and making sure you’re not responsible for the individual mistakes.
“It’s a shame really, because these players are running the distances and supporting each other, but it’s not materialising in the performance I expect or that can I see from this group of players. That’s down to confidence.”
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