Rochdale boss Keith Hill has admitted star winger Will Buckley was sold against his wishes.
Hill's men currently lead League Two and are edging ever closer their first promotion since 1969, yet they have been weakened by Buckley's departure to Watford.
"Selling Will was totally against my wishes - it was the board's decision," Hill told the Rochdale Observer.
"I was prepared to see Will go at the end of the season - it would have been a consequence of how well we'd done this year.
"But I felt we should have kept him until the summer at least. Morale among the squad is superb right now and that's no surprise given the form we're in. But when you sell a player regarded as an asset by everyone in the dressing room, it can be difficult to digest.
"Considering the great position we have put ourselves in, I felt we could and should have kept Will for the rest of the season. The squad we have is packed with quality - but we only have 15 outfield players and a couple of injuries could really stretch us."
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