Nahki Wells was delighted to be back on the goal trail after bagging a first hat-trick in three years.
Wells hit a treble inside the opening 45 minutes as he topped up his match fitness by leading the Clarets’ under-23s to a 4-0 Premier League Cup win over Colchester United at Curzon Ashton on Thursday night.
It was the striker’s first hat-trick since he scored three for Huddersfield Town in a League Cup victory over Chesterfield in August, 2014.
And as well as opening his goal-scoring account as a Burnley player, the summer signing also got another full game into his legs as he edges nearer first-team action.
“Most importantly it’s about getting through 90 minutes fit and getting more minutes under my belt,” said Wells, whose efforts helped Michael Duff's side make it two wins in two games in the group stages of the competition.
“Scoring goals – it’s good to be back amongst them. And a hat-trick in any shape of form is just good to re-create those memories of scoring goals at an important time.
“I’m delighted for the win and to come off fit and healthy and I enjoyed it.
“It’s a start. I had to get minutes under my belt before I get that opportunity in the first team.
“I’ve not got three 90s under my belt. I felt I performed really well in the last two and it’s always good to win and get some goals.
“I’m hoping to impress the management staff, which was my job.”
Wells – recovered from the ankle surgery he underwent before joining Burnley from Huddersfield at the end of August - will travel with Burnley for their Premier League game at Southampton on Saturday.
And while the game at the St Mary’s Stadium might come a bit soon for a senior debut, the 27-year-old is raring to go – either now or after the international break in a fortnight’s time – as he looks to make his mark at Turf Moor.
Wells added: “To put 90 minutes in tonight would put in any question whether or not I would play any part (on Saturday), but I’m here to play for the first team and here to play my part and it’s nice to be traveling.
“It’s always good to get that trip to bond a bit more with the boys and if called upon in that 18 I will be ready and I feel I have what it takes to play my part. Ultimately that’s what I want to do, play game-time in the first team.
“For me it’s important to go into the international break in and around the squad. I’ll have another good week’s training and preparation for Swansea at home and I will be totally ready.
“I’m champing at the bit and I want that Premier League debut and I want that Premier League goal.
“I’m hungry and I want that opportunity to come. But, at the same time, I’m patient and I understand I’ve come back from an injury that requires what I’ve had to go through and I feel like I’m back to myself more and more as it goes on.”