Wanderers started off the first game of the New Year on a high with early goals for Joe Dodoo and Daryl Murphy but then shipped three before half-time and then had Luke Murphy sent off for a second bookable offence.
Burton extended their lead through Liam Boyce and though Dennis Politic promoted a rousing final five minutes by bringing the score back to 4-3, Hill accepted the shambolic defending which gifted the visitors a way back into the game left the outcome inevitable.
“I never felt comfortable, the way Burton started the game. I’d said previously I do like the way they play, show composure in the final third,” he said.
“Joe Dodoo’s goal has come from an unbelievable slide challenge from one of our defenders. At 2-0 I was happy but not with the flow of the game.
“I am not happy with the individual defensive mistakes we have made. I mean, you can lead a horse to water, I can warn players, I can guide, give evidence of what the opponents might do but the naivety we defended one-v-one in our own box was the reason why we lost.
“It comes down to individual responsibilities, even when we got down to 10 men. The fourth goal is bad from every aspect – defending space and not the opponents, we didn’t get the balance right. Players know better and they know themselves they need to be better in those situations.
“It wasn’t, for me, a bad performance. The performance was more than good enough.
“Even down to 10 men there was a little lull but then a spring when we got the substitutes on. I am happy with aspects of the way we played but defensively those individual errors really cost us.”
Wanderers had avoided defeat over Christmas and could have taken themselves off the foot of the League One table with victory.
Absences cost them dear in the end, however, but Hill is determined not to over-react to a first defeat in four games.
“I think there is physical and mental fatigue involved,” he said. “It’s a group of players who have been going and going and going.
“Liam Bridcutt wasn’t fit, Jason Lowe suspended, we got another one sent off with Luke Murphy but there has to be a calmness to it. We have been beaten but there are 23 games left, so from that aspect we have to make sure we get ourselves into a better place going into the Rochdale game.”