Though Joe Dodoo brought Bolton back into the game after goals from Fejiri Okenabirhie and Niall Ennis, Wanderers were unable to find the extra push they needed to claim an equaliser at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Bolton lost Dennis Politic before kick off because of illness and both Kean Bryan and Jack Hobbs were substituted because of injury during the game.
But Hill insisted on looking on the bright side.
“I can see a lot of encouragement but it’s soul destroying at times,” he said. “For a group of players who are giving everything, and I mean absolutely everything – sweat, blood and tears, and there are tears because this is an emotional rollercoaster as a football player.
“You can become quite despondent, but I have asked the players to look at the bright side of it and there’s a lot of encouragement I can see.
“Whether we are losing players before games, during games, it’s difficult to smile without feeling the pain. But I can assure you that pain will go, smiles will become more because of the group of players we’ve got.
“I am encouraged by two performances against Coventry and Doncaster who play an excellent game of football and have deep squads for League One standard, we pushed them all the way.
Defensive errors contributed to both goals, and Wanderers also passed up a couple of decent opportunities in the second half to draw level.
Asked if he was frustrated by the errors, Hill added: “You always are. But sometimes you have got to ignore them.
“You make mistakes at home – you keep being told you are making them it takes you into a different place, you’re contemplating ‘why bother?’ “If you keep reminding players all the time about the mistakes they are making they are going to fear going out there. You want them to express themselves and make better decisions but if you keep on asking them it becomes false, it doesn’t encourage. You make them fear.
“We are not going to be free-scoring like Peterborough at this moment in time. We probably have to cut out the defensive mistakes but we still had one or two opportunities and, again, it’s decision making. But I believe we have good players and it’s been a really difficult period for the players and everyone involved at the club.
“We have a 16-game season now and we have to enjoy it, embrace it, show the courage and temperament we showed today to break down those fear walls, those bottom of the league table walls. We have been dealt a bad hand but let’s play it out, let’s not be a victim of the circumstances.
“I didn’t see a group today who gave in.
“It’s difficult being a Bolton supporter but they have to stick by it and enjoy it, embrace it, because next season will be a good opportunity for everybody.”