Transfer news: Rochdale manager Keith Hill upset by Scott Hogan interest

Scott Hogan: Rochdale youngster was the subject of January interest

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Keith Hill is keeping a close eye on Rochdale striker Scott Hogan after transfer window interest unsettled the highly-rated youngster.

The 21-year-old was the subject of speculation in January and Hill believes the rumours had an adverse effect on the player's form.

Despite rising to prominence as one of the most impressive lower league performers earlier in the season, Hogan endured a lean spell as rumours circulated.

So infuriated was Hill, he refused to speak to the media following Saturday's 2-1 victory against Morecambe and barred his players from conducting interviews.

"His form did take a dip in January and he didn't handle the pressure of a lot of people talking about him well."

Chris Beech

"His form did take a dip in January and he didn't handle the pressure of a lot of people talking about him well," Hill's assistant Chris Beech told The Times.

"But it is his first season as a professional and you go through a lot of emotions at that stage of your career.

"Those who haven't played professionally will think it is great that you are being talked about all the time, but it is difficult when the focus is on you."

Former Manchester City full-back Beech has been around the circuit long enough to understand the impact transfer speculation can have on up-and-coming players.

Skill

"I've seen it thousands of times, but Scott has dealt with it now and he has a spring back in his step," he added.

"His goal showed what he is capable of. It was a great piece of individual skill."

Rochdale went behind on the half-hour mark against Morecambe with Jack Redshaw putting the visitors in front at Spotland before Hogan levelled the scores minutes later.

Keith Hill: On media lockdown on Saturday

Ian Henderson produced a winner for Rochdale 18 minutes from time and Beech believes the hosts were unlucky to find themselves trailing.

"We went behind at a time when we were on top, but when you have a player of Scott's ability in your side you are always likely to get one back," he said.

"Since the age of 16 and 17 playing in our youth team, we have seen what he is capable of and he has scored great goals.

"He is now doing it week in week out and becoming a really consistent performer."