Oxford boss Chris Wilder hailed Asa Hall after the midfielder's brace boosted the club's hopes of a play-off finish following a 2-0 win at Accrington.
Hall scored either side of the break to hand the U's a deserved three points at the Crown Ground, moving them above Cheltenham and up to fifth place in the League Two table.
"I thought Asa Hall was the star performer for us all night, he was on the front foot throughout the game," said Wilder. "I think he'll be a little disappointed not to get a hat-trick because he had a decent chance just after half-time with a back post header which their keeper has saved. But he was the stand-out player on the night.
"It was all about the result and we knew it was going to be difficult coming here because Accrington always make it tough.
"The conditions were not the best, the pitch is not great but I was really pleased with the way the lads approached the game, especially the second half.
"I had to give them a bit of a rocket at half time because I felt we were on the back foot for too long during the first half but in fairness they responded really well after the break and I thought we deserved the win."
It was the second successive defeat for Paul Cook's team but the Stanley boss was encouraged by aspects of the display.
"I was really pleased with the performance - it's always an indication of how well you have played when the crowd applaud you off at the end," said Cook.
"The crowd's reaction to a performance is always important and sometimes you don't have to win a game to earn their applause and this was one of those occasions.
"We didn't make the most of our chances on the night and that is an area of our game we have to improve - but I cannot criticise the lads for that performance, I thought we were outstanding. We were beaten 2-0 by an Oxford team we respect and wish well but from our perspective there were some really pleasing aspects to our play."