Rochdale manager Keith Hill has deemed himself “very proud” of his players following their performance against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley.
Rochdale forced a replay in their first FA Cup fifth-round tie at the Crown Oil Arena thanks to a last-ditch 2-2 draw to set up a deciding encounter in London.
Rochdale were eventually beaten 6-1 by Spurs in a game dominated by controversy surrounding the Video Assistant Referee system but Hill insists that he is not embarrassed by the scoreline.
“I’m very proud,” the 48-year-old told BBC Sport. “We’ve been beaten in a game of football but we’ve not lost. As a group of players they’ve been brave against Tottenham, in front of our loyal supporters.
“The scoreline doesn’t alter my opinion about this group of players. In the first half we really dreamt. We hit the post to go 2-1 up. I can’t deny maybe Spurs could have been winning anyway, but in no way am I embarrassed. There were some mistakes but if the players can learn from them they can play in the higher echelons of the Championship or the Premier League.
“It’s complicated with VAR. It’s not fair on the referee. The fourth official was explaining to us what was going on but the referee needs a bit of help. The visuals need to be used better. I hope that eventually they explain it to the supporters.”