HAT-TRICK hero Scott Fraser is full of praise for his Burton Albion teammates, and says the Burton Albion changing room love having Jake Buxton as their skipper.
Fraser took the plaudits on Tuesday evening as his second-half hat-trick put paid to an Oxford United comeback, netting three superb left-footed strikes over the course of the 90 minutes as we beat the Us 4-2 at the Kassam Stadium.
It was Fraser's first senior hat-trick after the 24-year-old netted braces twice for us last season in the Carabao Cup against Nottingham Forest and in a league defeat to Gillingham, on route to scoring eight goals overall.
But Fraser, now already half-way to matching last season's total, was quick to point out the contribution of striker Liam Boyce on the evening, with both dealing with Oxford's physical defence and allowing the likes of Fraser, Nathan Broadhead and Ryan Edwards space to work in in the final third.
"With strikers like Liam or Lucas (Akins), it was Liam tonight, they’re so strong," said Fraser.
"I’ve never seen Liam get bullied by a centre-half.
"He’s got a strong backside and he’s able to put that into the centre-half and I’d hate to play against that. When you see him holding off centre-halves you're always confident because of how strong he actually is.
"(For the third goal) I was able to use the centre-half, he left a bit of a gap and I was confident to use my left foot to curl it round the keeper. He’s such a big player for us.
"With me playing in the area I do, I like to get up and score goals, and he helps with that. He’s a clever player and I know if I make runs, he can find me, and vice versa.
"We’ve got a good partnership and we get on off the field as well, which is important.
"Obviously Oli (Sarkic) came on tonight and put in a good shift, Lucas is his usual hard-working self as well and he's very important to us. It's about us keeping the standards high."
Fraser was also delighted to grab the assist for the Brewers' opener as well - as it allowed Jake Buxton to score his first goal for the club in more than 10 years.
The midfielder's near post corner found the head of Buxton, who, diving all the way, glanced a header at goal, across and over keeper Simon Eastwood, to put the Brewers 1-0 up.
"I don’t know if he wants to mention (how long since his last Albion goal) because we’ve got a young squad and I don’t know if the lads were watching at that time!" said Fraser.
"It’s brilliant for Bucko - he’s been brilliant since I’ve come in. I knew of him just from watching English football when he was at Derby and Wigan, and I noticed straight away his competitiveness, how much he wants to win and how much he brings to us young players.
"He’s always talking to us through games and he’s a massive help, whether he’s playing or not.
"The gaffer loves him and that’s why he’s extended his contract here, and that’s why we love him as our captain."