Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe was full of praise for Callum Wilson after the striker’s hat-trick helped secure an historic 4-3 win for the south-coast club at West Ham.
The visitors’ first Premier League victory was also their first over West Ham and came off the back of two defeats at the hands of Aston Villa and Liverpool in which they failed to score.
Wilson punished two defensive lapses as Bournemouth led 2-0 at the break at Upton Park, but West Ham hit back with two goals in the space of four minutes at the start of the second half from Mark Noble and Cheikhou Kouyate.
Marc Pugh, however, put Bournemouth back in front before Wilson made it 4-2 from the penalty spot, rendering Modibo Maiga’s late reply for the hosts nothing more than a consolation.
And the former Coventry striker’s three-goal haul left Howe delighted.
“I don’t mind singling Callum out on the back of a hat-trick,” he said.
“I thought he was a real menace with his pace, his energy and his movement.
“The first goal was an excellent finish from a really difficult chance and from that moment, I felt that we had the belief to win the game.
“It was a very good afternoon for him.
“To score his first Premier League goals and a hat-trick means it’s a very special game for him.
“Callum is a huge part of what we are doing at the moment and I’m delighted with him.”
Howe went on to emphasise just how much their maiden top-flight victory will boost his players’ confidence levels.
“The psychological benefit on the players will be huge,” he said.
“It was so important, it means everything to get our first win.
“I’m sure there were many doubters.
“It was a rollercoaster of emotion at the end.
“The game turned a bit in the second half, but we found the confidence to go again.”
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