Kelechi Iheanacho believes his FA Cup hat-trick against Aston Villa in a 4-0 win that sealed Manchester City’s place in the fifth round is the starting point of his career.
The 19-year-old hooked in the opening goal of the game after just three minutes and doubled his tally by coolly rolling in a penalty after Raheem Sterling was pushed over in the box.
Iheanacho completed his first senior hat-trick by racing on to a loose backpass to slot home, with Sterling later adding a fourth goal.
“I’m happy. I’m so glad to score a hat-trick and I’m delighted as well,” Iheanacho told Manchester City’s video channel.
“It’s a great day in my life, but it’s not the greatest day of my life. I need to keep working hard every day, every training [session] and every game.
“This is the starting point of my career, I need to keep going.
“It is important to get an early goal. It’s good that we get an early start and the goals will start to come.”
There was initial confusion over who was going to take City’s penalty, with Sterling set to step up before defender Pablo Zabaleta intervened.
“The penalty was very good. I take my time, I take the penalty, so it was a very good penalty for me,” said Nigerian Iheanacho, who has hit eight goals in all competitions in his debut season.
“Raheem wanted to take it, but I think the manager said I should take it.
“I’m so grateful for the fans as well, they helped us to win this game. Our thanks to them and everyone that came to support us in the game.”