In a game where Rochdale had three opportunities cleared off the line and two penalty claims turned down, Manager Keith Hill was pleased with the players’ effort, commitment and endeavour against AFC Wimbledon at the Crown Oil Arena.
Speaking after the 1-1 draw, Hill commented: “It was a good performance. It was a winning performance, it just wasn’t a winning result because we didn’t convert our opportunities.
“I’m not disappointed with the effort, the commitment, the endeavour or the way that we want to try and play, so I’m pleased with a lot of things.
“I knew we were going to concede a goal [at some point, having kept three previous clean sheets] it was just a question of when, but we dealt with going behind superbly well.
“The opportunities that came along after we’d equalised & before we’d equalised were a joke. It’s ridiculous really when you consider how hard the players have worked but haven’t had their just rewards, which is a victory.”
Blizzards and strong winds made conditions difficult, but Hill says his players didn’t try to use that as an excuse.
“It could have been a game of mistakes because of the conditions, and it could have been used as a poor excuse, but the players got used to the conditions and they knew what to expect from AFC Wimbledon.
“I thought we really took the game to the opposition all the way throughout the game. Apart from their goal, they had one sniff in the second half where they could have robbed our back pocket, but I thought the players were brilliant. Wimbledon’s goal hit the wall and then it took a ricochet, so there’s not much we can do about that defensively, so we’ve got to make sure that we don’t get too concerned.
“Their goalkeeper was superb. He made two great saves off Ian Henderson, and one from Andy Cannon, which should have been a corner but wasn’t given. Today, I think we should have had one penalty, maybe two. I think the referee and the officials had an off day today, and they’ve got to hold their hands up when they’ve had a day like that because these decisions affect this football club.”
Saturday’s point, coupled with a Northampton Town defeat, means Dale are now just five points adrift with up to three games in hand on their rivals, something which pleases Hill.
“I look at it and it’s eight points from the last four games and there are now five points between us & Northampton & Fleetwood so we’re slowly, slowly catching up.
“It’s the hare & the tortoise effect, and we have to make sure that we don’t waste these [goal scoring] opportunities. The only thing missing from last season or the season before is our conversion ratio, because defensively, we were very good.”
Watch the full interview on iFollow.