Nahki Wells says he is honoured to be the first Queens Park Rangers player to plunder a hat-trick in five years.
The Bermuda forward netted a treble and had an assist in his team’s 6-1 win at home to Cardiff City in the Sky Bet Championship on New Year’s Day.
He is the first player to achieve the feat for QPR since Charlie Austin in a 3-2 Premier League win over West Bromwich Albion in December 2014.
“No one has scored a hat-trick since Charlie Austin back in 2014 and so it is always good to be recognised,” Wells told The Royal Gazette.
“Obviously, it’s never easy to score a hat-trick, not at this level, so I’m delighted to have achieved that.”
Wells opened the scoring at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium in the ninth minute before adding two more after the break to claim the match ball and start the new year with a bang.
It was his first hat-trick since he completed a treble for Huddersfield Town in their 5-3 win away to Chesterfield in the Championship in August 2014.
The impressive feat ended a nine-game goal drought in style as Wells had not scored since QPR’s 2-2 draw against Middlesbrough on November 9.
“I hadn’t scored since our last fixture before the international break, so I’m happy to be back among the goals,” he added.
“It’s been tough, so I’m pretty happy to get on the scoresheet and get a really big win for us.
“As a striker, the games start to add up. You come on for ten minutes and it’s another game without a goal or you don’t start.
“You go through games without really getting a sniff, but you just have to keep putting yourself in the right places, keep believing and keep doing everything right because you have to be mentally right for when that chance comes.”
Wells’s early goal did his confidence the world of good.
“When you’re able to get an early goal, it takes a lot of pressure off you,” he said. “Any attacker knows what it can do for you from a psychological perspective and how much it really lifts you when you do get that goal.
“I’m really happy to score early, which gave me the platform to go on and get a couple of others.”
Wells was equally as delighted to assist in his team’s second goal.
“I was happy to get the assist for our second goal, which I think was the nail in the coffin,” he said. “It’s not always about goal scoring and I pride myself on getting assists and being involved in as many goals as possible. To get an assist and a hat-trick is the icing on the cake.”
QPR are in fifteenth in the Championship table, six points adrift of the play-off position.
“We have been playing very well for the most part of the last few weeks, but for some reason we haven’t come away with the results we feel we deserve,” Wells said.
“I can probably say one of our last five games we didn’t deserve to win and the rest we genuinely deserved to win, but came away with one point so it [big win over Cardiff] should really give our confidence a big lift.
“We know we are capable of scoring goals, capable of playing good football, and if we can take that confidence into our next games. I’m sure we can go on a run again even though we have some tough fixtures coming up.”
QPR are at home to Swansea City in the FA Cup on Sunday.