Magnificent Marlon's Hat-trick Delight

MARLON Harewood admitted that getting just one goal against Aston Villa was a fantastic feeling.

So, as he walked off at Upton Park having bagged a brilliant hat-trick in a 4-0 thrashing of Aston Villa, the big striker could barely contain his delight.

"To just score just my first goal of the season was great," he smiled, "but to come away with three goals and the match ball is just brilliant.

"I was desperate to score, but I knew that if I kept working hard, kept believing in myself then it would come.

"I wasn't worried about it, but I was determined to get off the mark. I never imagined it would be with a hat-trick though."

Marlon was also quick to praise the part played by his Hammers team-mates in what was a fantastic all-round display.

"It was a great performance," beamed Marlon. "Every player was important, everyone played well and we showed what we can do against Villa.

"They are a strong side with plenty of Premier League experience. But we came out, attacked them right from the first whistle and they just couldn't handle us.

"There is a fantastic atmosphere around the squad. The feeling is great and I think it's showing on the pitch in the way we are playing.

"It was a tremendous performance, I'm delighted to have taken home the match ball and helped win the team what could prove to be a really good three points.

"We knew that Aston Villa were a team that we should beat at home, but we're confident going into every game because at this level you have to be.

"It was a great night and the fans were magnificent. They inspire us in every game, so to score three goals in front of them in such a good performance is just fantastic."

Marlon's hat-trick was the first scored by a Hammers player since Matty Etherington bagged three in a 5-0 win over Wimbledon in March 2004.

The 26-year-old striker believes it was a statement of the team's intent.

"It was definitely our strongest performance since coming back to the Premier League," he admitted. "But we've played well in all four games and it's been a great start.

"I think we've probably surprised a few people at the way we've played, but we were confident going into the season and things have started well.

"After losing against Bolton it was important for us to get back to winning ways, and it was a fantastic result. Now we just need to focus on keeping this form going.

"We'll enjoy the result and then it's back to work to prepare for the trip to Fulham this weekend."