Simon Makienok’s treble in Preston’s League Cup victory at Bournemouth represented a personal milestone for the Danish striker.
His hat-trick which sunk the Premier League Cherries on Tuesday night was the first of his professional career.
At the age of 25 and having worn the shirt of five clubs, it has been some time in coming for the front man.
So he was understandably delighted with the treble, one which saw North End run out 3-2 winners in extra time at Dean Court.
Makienok said: “It was a left foot, a right foot and a header so it couldn’t have been better.
“It was my first professional hat-trick, a great feeling for me – I’ve got the match ball for the first time.
“We played against a strong side, even though Bournemouth made changes.
“They were still a good team and we were prepared for that.
“After what we experienced in our last game at Brentford, losing 5-0 and conceding a lot of goals late on, we knew we needed to stay compact, stay in our shape and develop the game from there.
“We did that brilliantly from the first minute, we were well prepared and could even have scored more goals.
“I thought it was a deserved victory.
“This was my first hat-trick, so it is the best performance goals-wise of my career so far.
“There are a lot of things I need to improve on – I have to hold up the ball a bit better.”
Makienok has put himself squarely in the frame to start Friday night’s televised clash with Wigan at Deepdale.
The 120 minutes of action on the south coast left him a little leg-heavy – this was only his second start for PNE – but he is keen to build on his three goals.
“I’d like to play on Friday, even though I got a bit of cramp in my hamstring at the end – it was a tough game,” said Makienok who is on a year-long loan from Palermo.
“Everyone was tired at the end, it was a tough game and we had extra time.
“I now want to push on and take my chance when it comes.
“I am a goalscorer and like to be in the box, that is my main strength.
“I’m not going to score three goals every week but I will do anything to help the team.
“Even if I’m not scoring, getting assists and being a strong hold-up player is part of my game.”
Makienok’s inclusion last night came as PNE manager Simon Grayson made 10 changes to the side which was beaten at Brentford.
Admittedly, Grayson had one eye on the Wigan game, wanting to keep some of his regulars fresh.
Said Makienok: “You can see that we have a deep squad from last night , not only the 11 who start but a squad of 20 to 25 players who can come in and do a job.”
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe was not impressed to be knocked out by a side from the league below them.
Howe said: “Firstly, I have to apologise to the supporters, I really do. I feel passionately that we’ve let them down.
“I can’t recall saying that in my second term here. But we didn’t do the things required to justify them paying the money to support us and the time that it takes.
“I feel very sorry for that and I’ll do everything in my power to put that right.
“Ultimately, as manager, the blame falls on me and I take full responsibility.”