Rochdale manager Keith Hill bemoaned his side’s ‘mistakes’ in a ‘chaotic end’ that allowed Northampton to claw their way back into Tuesday’s contest at Spotland, which eventually finished in a 2-2 draw.
Two goals in each half from ex-Cobbler Ian Henderson put Dale in command three quarters of the way into the game, but Ash Taylor and then David Buchanan scored twice in eight minutes to salvage a point for the visitors.
And they would have come away with all three had John-Joe O’Toole converted a late penalty, but Rochdale goalkeeper Josh Lillis guessed right and thwarted the Town midfielder.
“I was really happy with the majority of the performance but it’s chaotic at the end,” Hill told the club website.
“The psychology of a player is all about confidence and it’s easy when you’re winning games, but you find out about players in situations like this.
“The performance was more like what I expect from us but we were punished by two major mistakes, and we should have been punished for three – we should have lost the game, to be honest.
“The game hasn’t been taken away from us by the opposition, they’re mistakes, and that’s situation that we’re in.
“It’s hard to accept but you’ve got to be very forgiving, and you’ve got to make sure that you fight on. I believe there’s a fighting intent, there’s an energy and a determination to win, and it’s about making sure that we continue to try and stick to task and hopefully things will come good.
“The major incident in this game, which led to us drawing, is their first goal. It made us probably look at ourselves in the mirror and think ‘here we go again’ but we’ve got to get over that type of psychology and you’ve got to love the players even more. Everyone at the football club has got to love the players even more.
“There’s disappointment, and you’ve got accept that as a manager, as a player and as supporter.
“But you can’t be too hard on players when they’re giving everything, and they have given everything tonight - they’re soul destroyed in there. They know they’ve thrown the game away and it’s times like that, that makes you stronger.
“I thought they played well tonight. We probably should have won it, but equally so, we could have lost it, and that’s the rollercoaster of our season so far.”