Grant McCann hailed Mallik Wilks’ “best” Hull City performance after the forward scored his first career hat-trick in the 5-0 thrashing of Wigan Athletic.
The 22-year-old netted twice in five first-half minutes before grabbing his third, and the team’s fifth, shortly after the hour mark.
“I’m really, really pleased for Mallik,” said the boss.
“He’s a boy I’ve known for a couple of years now. Historically, sometimes in games, you don’t see him and then he can pop up with something or get you something.
“He scored three tonight, he set one up for Keane (Lewis-Potter), he probably could have had a couple more with the positions he was taking up.
“I think that was his best performance tonight, probably his best performance in a Hull shirt.
"Forget about the goals, I just thought his performance was excellent and that’s something Mallik can now build on.”
Lewis-Potter and Josh Magennis scored the Tigers’ third and fourth goals respectively at the start of the second half.
And McCann was delighted with the performance of his front three, having spoken to them individually earlier this week.
“I spoke to the three boys on Monday morning in the office and told them they were the best in the league, and they are,” McCann added.
“You’ve seen it tonight, they are. It’s about sustaining that now.
“Mallik and Keano are young and they’ve got a good mentor in Josh Magennis who’s been there and done it and is an international.
“We just went the other way with them a little bit. It’s easy to hit them with a big stick or people to throw throwaway comments to them.
“But we believe so much in them – myself, my staff and the players. We put an arm around them, we showed them good bits about their game, the goals they’ve scored.
“We’ve done a lot with them to make them feel good and like they’re a big part of what we’re doing.
“When they play like that, they’re such a handful, the three of them. I’m delighted for them tonight with the work we’ve put into them in the last couple of days.”
Overall, McCann was thrilled with an impressive team display.
“I thought it was a controlled performance throughout,” he commented.
“I thought defensively again we looked good. The midfield set the tone in terms of the press and the energy. The front three were there to win the game for us.
“I was pleased with the whole performance of the team today. It was a good performance, a good result and it was nice to see a few goals go in as well.”