Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton paid tribute to hat-trick hero Paddy Madden after his clinical treble in their 4-1 win against Burton Albion.
Barton’s men are now back up to fourth place in Sky Bet League One after losing out to runaway leaders Ipswich Town in their previous game a fortnight earlier.
Madden was recalled to start against the Brewers after only making the bench against Ipswich – and he repaid Barton handsomely.
The 29-year-old had set up Ched Evans’ first-half goal before taking centre stage with his second-half treble.
Barton said: “It’s tough because we’ve got a plethora of attacking talent at the club, but we thought we needed to get Paddy into the starting XI because of the ability he has to unlock tight games.
“He was in the right place at the right time for Ched’s goal in the first half, and then obviously, he’s got the three goals in the second.
“Three goals and an assist is never a bad haul of course, and it always makes a manager look better than he probably is when those decisions come off.
“It’s not easy to score goals at the level he has for as long as he has.
“Clearly Paddy’s got that something that gives him that extra special composure a top striker needs in front of goal.
“He doesn’t look rushed, he doesn’t look flustered; he just expects to score goals when he gets in there.
“That’s a quality that is always in the best strikers, no matter what level they play at.
“The goal is the same size in the Premier League as it is in League One, but it’s just that maybe the opportunities become a little less frequent at this level.
“When these opportunities do come Paddy’s way, though, they usually end up in the back of the net.”
Barton was pleased with the overall performance of his team, who defeated Burton quite comfortably following their enforced two-week break.
“The international break can go one or two ways,” added Barton.
“Burton’s game last week was postponed too, and they started the game well.
“I knew we had to be mindful of the prowess they’ve got; they do commit a lot of bodies forward.
“Don’t forget they were second in the away form table going into the game.
“They are a good side and we had to do the right things, but in the second half, they were superb.
“We needed to show that ruthless killer instinct, and when you’ve got a player of Paddy’s calibre, and Ched Evans, you’re always going to score goals.
“We had worked on a few things in training this week in terms of where we were going to service their box, and lo and behold, we got a load of goals from those kind of positions today.
“It’s great when the players take on board what the coaches say to them during the week.
“It’s nice to see that pay dividends on a Saturday.”