Keith Hill was left cursing the officials after his 10-man Rochdale side went down to a 2-1 defeat at Swindon Town.
John O’Sullivan saw red for Dale after just 12 minutes before Swindon capitalised through first-half strikes from Fabien Robert and Ben Gladwin.
Olly Lancashire did pull one back for Rochdale, but the defeat sees a continuation of Hill’s team’s inconsistent form, although the manager felt his side’s effort would’ve got the win had it not been for the early dismissal.
“I think every single one of the officials have let both teams down with that standard of refereeing,” Hill said.
“The manner in which they officiated was poor for both sides.
“There wasn’t one appeal for John O’Sullivan to be sent off. Not from their dugout, not from their players on the pitch.
“My lads have given everything. Every ounce of sweat and blood and they have got nothing for it. Absolutely nothing. They have been severely let down today.
“When we’re down to ten men and we’re playing against such an outstanding side who keep the ball very well, then it’s going to be difficult.
“If we were playing against a different team in the league who give you the ball back more often and you’re looking at percentage football, then it might have been a little bit easier for us.
“But to play against Swindon with the endeavour and intensity that we have done today with ten out field players, it’s testament to the energy and the hard-work that the players have given.
Despite being delighted with his side’s effort, Hill also said that he is looking for more patience and intelligence in Rochdale’s play.
“We should have a little bit more thoughtful,” he said.
“You cannot give the ball away to Swindon at any time because every opportunity they get when they’ve got possession is an attacking opportunity.
“We didn’t play the elements appropriately when we were down to ten men in that passage of play where we conceded two goals.
“When we’re trying to score they’re even more dangerous, but I felt in the second half we needed minimum opportunities to maximise points but we just didn’t get the goal that I thought we would get.
“We rode our luck a little bit, with respect to keeping a second half clean sheet.
“I just wanted three of four opportunities. I knew we weren’t going to get too much possession. We probably got the opportunities that I thought we would do and we should do better with at least one of those.
“It’s the way it goes sometimes. For all your hard-work and endeavour you get nothing but you’ll get something somewhere along the line as long as you continue to work as hard as we have done today.”
Dale fans will be hoping their side can bounce back this Saturday when they take on Colchester United at Spotland.
Image courtesy of Official Rochdale via YouTube, with thanks.