Mallik Wilks could not hide his delight after scoring his first career hat-trick in Hull City’s thumping 5-0 win at Wigan Athletic.
The 22-year-old drilled home from a narrow angle to open the scoring on 27 minutes before grabbing his second five minutes later with a right-footed drive which crept in off the post.
Wilks provided the assist for the third goal shortly after half-time, an intelligent looping cross which Keane Lewis-Potter headed home, and Josh Magennis made it 4-0 not long after.
But the night – and the matchball – belonged to Wilks, who scored the pick of the bunch with a precise curling shot into the bottom corner to complete a well-taken treble.
“It’s just crazy – my first hat-trick!” said a beaming Wilks. "It felt good.
“I felt the result was well deserved. The past few games, we’ve been unfortunate. We’ve just been unlucky and the ball had to drop at one point.”
Even from the warm-up, Wilks had a feeling it was going to be a fruitful evening.
“In the warm-up, everyone was sharp and on it and I thought, ‘this is the night,’” he commented.
“The finishing drills, the passing drills – everything was on point. The desire and the confidence were right.
“If we made a mistake, we weren’t shying away from the ball, we still wanted to get on it.
“When all of that comes together, that's what makes it that kind of performance.”
The resounding victory ended a three-match winless and scoreless streak for the Tigers, who reclaimed second place in League One.
And Wilks revealed some words of encouragement from Head Coach Grant McCann helped make a difference.
“He brought us (himself, Magennis and Lewis-Potter) into his office for a chat (on Monday),” he said.
“We hadn’t been performing badly, but chances weren’t falling for us. He put his arm around us and told us, ‘don’t stop doing what you’re doing because you’re getting the chances.’
“He’d have been upset if we weren’t getting the chances but we were still getting the chances, we just weren’t putting them away.
“It was great to see all three of us on the scoresheet.”
Wilks halted his own six-game goal drought in sensational style and the Tigers’ dangerman always knew the goals would return.
“I’m not a guy to look outside or think, ‘I haven’t scored in this many games, that many games,'” Wilks said.
“I just focus on the task ahead. I’ve still been getting chances, they’ve just not been falling for me.
“I knew my luck would change eventually as long as I kept getting in the areas to get the chances.
“I’d say it was my best game for the club.”
The match at the DW Stadium was Wilks’ 50th in black and amber, with 20 goals netted during that 13-month period.
And the Leeds-born frontman is feeling right at home at the KCOM.
“It’s been good, I really like it here, I’m settled,” Wilks added.
“Fifty appearances – that’s the most I’ve had for a club. I’m happy with that, I want to keep going, get more, get to that 100 stage.
“I’m loving it here, I’m comfortable. My family is close, everything is easier for me.”