Southampton Under-23s forward Marcus Barnes says he’ll claim three of the four goals from their win over AFC Bournemouth on Thursday night.
Barnes got the final touch on the strike that was credited to Sam Gallagher for the game’s opening goal in the 4-3 success over the Cherries, and says he’ll take the treble if he can.
“Of course I’m claiming the hat-trick,” he told youtube.com/southamptonfc.
“As a striker I thought I got the last touch, but it was Sam’s shot and if it’s given to him I don’t mind."
Martin Hunter’s men led 1-0 at half-time but were soon levelled, which threatened the hosts’ game plan until Barnes put Saints 2-1 up less than a minute later.
“That’s the reaction we wanted and what Martin wanted from us and from then we really pushed on,” said Barnes, who felt Saints shouldn’t have allowed the visitors back into it.
“It could have been over in the first half had we been a lot more clinical,” he said. “That’s one thing that was a disappointment after the game so that’s something to improve on for the next one.”
Barnes and Olufela Olomola added goals in the second half to help the team go 4-1 up on the visitors, but a late rally from the Cherries meant that Barnes’s strikes proved pivotal.
“It was a mixed game and we went out in the second half with the intention to press them and they did the same to us,” he explained. “That early goal from them sort of put us on the backfoot and we had to say, OK, let’s push on, and get back on the right track."
The forward played as part of a fluid front three against the Cherries, combining with fellow forwards Sam Gallagher and Olufela Olomola which yielded three goals in the space of nine minutes at the start of the second half.
“Martin [Hunter] and Radhi [Jaïdi] just want us to be nice and fluid so that we’re not stuck in one position and can all play across the front three, so that causes a problem for the defenders because they don’t really know where we’re going.
“We’re getting better with each game and we have QPR in our next game which hopefully we can push on in and iron out those little details.”