Rochdale’s manager, Keith Hill, has described watching his side slump to their third heavy defeat in a row, this time 4-0 at the hands of Burton Albion, as the worst day of his managerial career.
Along with three straight defeats, Dale have also not scored a goal in over 270 minutes of league football and conceded 13 in the process.
On Saturday Rochdale’s chief tormentor was Marcus Harness as the Burton Albion academy product bagged a hat-trick in the 4-0 which saw Dale drop to 18th in the table.
Rochdale fell behind after just 18 minutes at the Crown Oil Arena, Jake Buxton flicked on an in-swinging corner from David Templeton straight into the path of Harness who managed to get the ball over the line from close-range.
Rochdale did have their chance to draw level, but Jordan Williams had his effort blocked by Brad Collins.
Straight away though Burton Albion made the home side pay for missing the chance, racing down field and doubling their lead, Lucas Akins laid the ball off for Harness to fire beyond Josh Lillis and send the visitors into halftime 2-0 up.
It soon became 3-0 as Harness turned provider for Liam Boyce who eased the ball past Lillis and into the corner of the net.
At that stage the game was up for Dale with Burton adding insult to injury with Harness completing his hat-trick four minutes from time, rifling home.
The defeat leaves Rochdale three points above the relegation zone in League One with all the teams below them having a game in hand.
They’re next game is the visit of Manchester City’s under-21s on Tuesday night (8th January), kick off is 7pm at the Crown Oil Arena.