Brian Barry-Murphy praised his side’s application following Tuesday night’s narrow defeat to Sky Bet League One leaders Ipswich Town.
Danny Rowe’s goal shortly after the break separated the two teams in an even encounter.
The Dale boss felt his side more than matched the table toppers and was pleased with the performance.
“Our lads put in a hell of a shift, in difficult circumstances in terms of being stretched squad-wise and losing players during the game,” said Barry-Murphy.
“Our players gave everything and our play was very, very good, against a team who are obviously flying high at the top of the table and play with a high intensity.
“They’re obviously a very good team, but we more than matched them and I thought that we were in control.
“I thought the possession football was played by us and we created the better chances consistently, and I thought our lads were pretty much foot-perfect in that first-half.
“The dynamic obviously changes when they score in the second-half and they can keep possession.
“But even then, when we lost players, we regrouped and became stronger at the end of the game, but we just couldn’t find the moment that would give us the equaliser late in the game.
“I thought we had good chances to score and it was similar to Saturday, in that we didn’t get the final part right in terms of our finishing. We had a clear chance in the first-half which we controlled, apart from their effort that hit the crossbar.
“In the second-half, I thought our application was fine, but like I said, the goal goes against us and there are major issues surrounding that from our point of view, but we just weren’t able to find the goal to equalise.”
The visitors’ winning goal came with controversy, from a Dale perspective, after Paul McShane appeared to be pushed in the back in the build-up.
“There was a clear push in the build-up to the goal. I don’t want to go away from the manta of always trying to make the players be fully respectful of the referee’s decisions and try not to get involved in confrontation with him.
“But, there comes a stage where, as the representative who speaks to you guys on behalf of the players, I have to ask the question myself that is the fact they aren’t asking the referees for decisions going against them?
“I think there was a clear push in the build-up to the goal and there were issues on Saturday [against Bristol Rovers] about certain decisions, specifically the penalty we should have had for the foul on Paul McShane.
“Bristol Rovers could have had a penalty, so I’m not saying one or the other and I’m not going down the route of barracking officials, but I think there has to be a fairness to the way decisions are going. We feel as if we’re not getting a fair crack of the whip at the moment.”
Watch the full interview with Barry-Murphy on iFollow HERE.
“There was a lot of adversity and decisions went against us which were critical to the outcome of the game. Things went against us tonight but our application was immense and our play in the first-half was very productive.