Manager Keith Hill reflects on Dale’s defeat to Burton Albion…
“During my time here as a player, as the Youth Team coach and as a manager, that’s the worst experience I’ve had,” said the Gaffer in his post-match interview.
“Having been a player and knowing what it’s like when you can’t see the next pass, it was important that I tried to encourage the players. As a player, you’re trying but it’s misguided and you start doing things that shouldn’t do which leads to more problems. It was difficult for the players and I wanted to try and support them the best I could. You just hope you can salvage something from the experience as you turn into tomorrow and the day after so that it will make you stronger as a person, stronger as an individual player and stronger to fight in the future.
“It was a hard one, a really hard one for the players out there. It’s going to be difficult to raise them. I thought we had raised them after Doncaster, but I can’t get into the minds of the players. They’re good players but at this moment in time they’re struggling with confidence and they are finding it hard to make decisions. That’s where I’ve tried to guide and give them support.
“The biggest disappointment I’ve had at this football club was probably being beaten by FC United, but today is the worst I’ve felt as manager during the course of a game and probably as a player as well. That’s hard times for you, and just you want to build through hard times and make sure that you don’t destroy everything that’s good.”
He continued: “It was hard, and it was hard for me, the players and the supporters but it’s not over and the race isn’t run yet.
“It’s important that we try and build from this hole that we’re in. We’re in a hole confidence wise, results wise and in terms of conceding but not scoring, but we have to dig ourselves out of it. There’s no quick fix and there’s no miracle money tree to invest in a lot of players, so I’ll work with this group of players and I’ll try to bring in one or two, and hopefully we can turn the corner together.
“It’s important that we stick together. I’m a traditional man built on family foundations. I’ve had hard times with my family but we’ve always stuck together. I’m really proud to be a part of my family, and I consider Rochdale to be part of my family.
“I understand why there is so much anger. It’s a dark day but we’re looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, and there is one. There’s a spark, a proper spark at this club but we’ve got to reignite it.”
And Hill confirmed that a number of players missed the game through injury and illness.
“We went with the players that we had available for today and there can’t be any panic when it comes to recruitment.
“There are no conspiracy theories. The players who weren’t available today weren’t available - nobody at this moment in time is pending a move somewhere. Calvin Andrew is ill, Aaron Wilbraham, Stephen Dooley, Zach Clough and Joe Thompson injured.”
Watch the full interview on iFollow.