Hat-trick hero Yannick Bolasie was thrilled to find the back of the net three times in 11 minutes to register the club's first ever treble in the Premier League on their way to a 4-1 thrashing of Sunderland on their own path.
The winger burst into life after half-time to set up Glenn Murray for the opener before going on to score three composed finishes to stun the home side as he thrived in a new role behind Murray, and after the game he couldn't hide his delight at playing such an influential role in the game.
He said: “To score a Premier League hat-trick is a dream come true so its a special afternoon for me. I haven't scored enough goals so for three to come along like that was great.
“The gaffer has been onto me about getting goals so I got some for him and credit to him for putting me in the position he put me in today. He changed the tactics and had me in a number 10 role behind Muzza and everyone has seen why he's put me there.
“If more goals come they come, I'm not going to try and force things but credit to my teammates, they're helping to give me good habits in training and it's come together today.”
Bolasie and Murray tore Dick Advocaat's side apart in a lethal period after half-time and the DR Congo midfielder was delighted with their impact together, which he hopes can continue to be fruitful for the remainder of the season despite the club passing the magical 40-point mark.
“I'm just as happy with the assist as the goals but I need the team to do that to help Glenn get his goal so I'm happy,” he added.
“Playing off Glenn I knew chances would come, and we've got a lot of quality in the middle with Punch, Mile and Wilf so I think today was a great team performance and to top it off with my goals was great.
“Everyone's braver since the manager came in, he's fired everyone up and given us plenty of confidence, and since I've come back from the Africa Nations Cup it's been a pleasure to play for him. We're a group that works hard and we all know that we won't be slacking between the end of the season.”
Murray himself revealed that the sluggish start to the match was part of the gameplan as they aimed to calm down the atmosphere in the Stadium of Light, and reiterates Bolasie's point that with a top half finish the aim now, there is plenty to play for between now and the end of the season.
The striker said: “I thought we did well first half, we knew Sunderland were going to come out and come at us with their result last week so we had to weather the storm and the crowd too, so we only really started playing after half time.
“We're a side that are used to each other, a lot us played together in the Championship promotion season so there's a lot of togetherness in the group and I think that shows.
“We're just trying to get as many points as we can, that's the type of group we are and we'll keep striving for that.”