Grant McCann watched on with pride as his Doncaster Rovers team routed Rochdale.
Alfie May scored after just 40 seconds and Rovers’ eighth win in their last 11 games never looked in any doubt.
John Marquis scored twice to take his tally to 18, while Ali Crawford and substitute James Coppinger also netted as Rovers moved above Peterborough United and back into sixth spot.
“As a team we were outstanding,” said McCann.
“I thought we played really well. We started really brightly. That was the message to the group – can we put the game to bed early? I was proud watching them today. We scored goals but we also defended our goal with real authority.”
May made a quick start to the year with a looping header from Mallik Wilks’s cross inside the first minute with the lead being doubled 23 minutes in with Crawford’s stunning free-kick from a tight angle.
As a team we were outstanding – I was proud watching them today. We scored goals but we also defended our goal with real authority.Doncaster Rovers’ head coach, Grant McCann
The game was all but done when Marquis headed in a third 11 minutes before the break.
The fun didn’t stop there after the restart, although goalkeeper Magnus Norman should have done better when Marquis’s powerful strike beat him.
Coppinger completed the rout with a diving header from Matty Blair’s cross.
Doncaster Rovers: Lawlor, Blair, T Anderson, Butler, Andrew, Whiteman, Kane (Rowe 66), Crawford (Taylor 83), May (Coppinger 66), Wilks, Marquis. Unused substitutes: Marosi, Lund, Amos, Boocock.
Rochdale: Norman, McGahey, Delaney, Williams, Ntlhe, Morley (Andrew 46), Done, Rathbone, Adshead (Inman 46), Camps (Gillam 76), Henderson. Unused substitutes: Lillis, McNulty, Williams, Matheson.
Referee: Martin Coy (County Durham).