Clear mind, full score sheet: Rochdale’s Chris Beech praises Scott Hogan’s ‘concentration’ after hat-trick

Scott Hogan’s hat-trick stole the headlines on Saturday as Rochdale cruised to a 3-0 win over Oxford United at Spotland.

Top-scorer Hogan’s treble was his second in three weeks and took the forward’s goal tally to 19 for the season in all competitions.

Rochdale assistant manager Chris Beech was full of praise for his in-form striker.

“It was Scott’s second hat-trick since the transfer window closed and it’s amazing what he’s done since the end of January,” said Beech.

“He has concentrated and he has been committed since his mind has been clear and it has been evident in his performances.”

Saturday was also the seventh time this season that Dale have won by three goals to nil.

Beech praised goalkeeper Josh Lillis for keeping the clean sheet that made the score-line possible.

“He (Lillis) doesn’t have a lot to do but when he has to do it, he’s getting it right,” Beech told BBC Radio Manchester. “Even against Exeter last week he saved a shot.

“In the first 15 minutes Oxford had a clear chance (which) he saved with his feet. From that point we went on and scored and then controlled the game.

“So there’s Josh Lillis, Scott Hogan for his goals and Jamie Allen. Jamie’s one of the best players I’ve seen doing the basic skills in football, his touch, his passing, his awareness, his movement are excellent.”

The victory puts Dale in an extremely healthy position as they now lie third in League Two, sitting comfortably in the automatic promotion spot.

Dale are four points clear of Burton Albion with a game in hand.

Oxford had occupied fourth before the match began with some suggesting the clash was a must-win encounter for Dale.

Beech contested this as his side now begin their preparation for Friday night’s televised derby clash with Bury.

“The press were trying to build the game up as a win at all costs situation it really wasn’t, it’s just three points available,” Beech added.

“There were 14 games to play we’ve won this won so now we’ve got 13 left and we move on to the derby.”

Image courtesy of OfficialRochdaleAFC, via YouTube with thanks.

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