Brian Barry-Murphy reflected on a “difficult” day for Dale, as his side were beaten 3-0 away at Oxford United.
Joe Ruffels’ and Tariqe Fosu’s first half goals meant Dale had it all to do heading into half-time.
Aaron Wilbraham’s red card before the break made life even more difficult for his side.
“The circumstances of the day didn’t materialise in the way we had hoped,” said Barry-murphy.
“Aaron’s sending off had a huge impact on the way we wanted the game to evolve.
“I haven’t had chance to see it back yet but my initial reaction is that it was never a sending off.
“I have full sympathy for the referee. There is a full sense of panic for officials where, I feel, they judge a player to be out of control and they have to act.
“I fully understand the position he is put in and I have no qualms about the decision.
“To concede two goals from set pieces – which hasn’t been like us – was a disappointment to us.
“The lads gave absolutely everything against a team who run up huge scores.
“We were conscious of the fact we wanted to stay in the game as long as we could and try and provide a counter attacking threat, which we didn’t in terms of actual chance produced.
“We were waiting for one moment which we thought we had when Ian scored, which would have allowed us to push for an equaliser.
“To still be in the game that late on is testament to the players in a game where a lot of things went against us.”
Ian Henderson started the game on the bench after not being able to fully train since Tuesday, due to a hamstring injury.
But after appearing from the bench at half-time, Barry-Murphy insists Dale’s top goal scorer’s fitness will be managed effectively over the next few games.
“Ian’s issue was an issue with his hamstring. It is neuro so pain he can’t put up with. The major issue when assessing it is it only becomes an issue under fatigue.
“For me it was a simple decision to have him on the bench. If we get this for the next two or three weeks, it is no issue as we have to look after the player for the rest of the season.
“That in itself will help us improve as a club but if we do push him through this part of the season where he is getting into excessive fatigue deep into the game then it becomes an issue and hinders ourselves.
“We had to be constant in the way we behaved, like we have all season.
“We had experiences at Peterborough which were very humbling. The lads have bounced back from that every single occasion they have been challenged.
“They take responsibility individually and analyse their own performance, and move forward collectively as a team into next week’s game.
“I was proud of the way they defended against a very difficult threat.
“If we could’ve grabbed a goal I feel we could have salvaged a 2-2.
“We had forward players on with Calvin Andrew, Hendo and Fabio Tavares that would have given us that attacking threat late on.
“Realistically, we never looked like getting a result from the game when we went 2-0 down and had ten men so we have to be fair on that assessment.”
Watch the full interview on iFollow HERE.