Rochdale’s Hill says team need to ‘play with more intelligence’ after rare defeat

Keith Hill insists Rochdale must play with more intelligence if they are to maintain their good start to their League One campaign.

Dale went down to just their second league defeat of the season on Saturday at Burton Albion, with a Joe Rafferty own goal proving to be the difference between the sides.

Despite the loss, Hill’s side maintain the joint best defensive record in League One – but the Spotland chief was left frustrated by his side’s inability to work their way back into the game.

He said: “I expect a little bit more intelligence from that group of players.

“Sometimes when you’re desperate, you do desperate things and they’re not true to your character or a reflection of the team, and I think we’ve become a little bit desperate.

“I thought we showed a lack of intelligence with our thirst for an equalising goal and it was too obvious.”

After going a goal down in the 24th minute, his side struggled to create any clear cut openings to drag themselves back into the contest.

Goalkeeper Josh Lillis put in a strong display to keep his side in with a shout, while Ian Henderson failed to convert Dale’s best chance of the game early in the second half.

While the defeat didn’t knock Rochdale out of the top six, it does leave them six points adrift of early season pace setters Gillingham.

Hill also gave his thoughts on the state of the playing surface at the Pirelli Stadium: “There was a sticky pitch.

“I’m led to believe the groundsman said that the opposition manager didn’t want the pitch watering – one of the reasons is probably because of the way we play.

“I think we were to lethargic in possession, but I would say that is a little bit down to the pitch. If I was Jimmy [Floyd-Hasselbaink, Burton boss] I would tell his grounds man to keep a few more secrets.”

Hill’s side will be looking to bounce back on Saturday when they entertain Scunthorpe United at Spotland in a 3pm kick off.

Image courtesy of Rochdale AFC, via Youtube, with thanks.

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