Big relief for Norwich City hat-trick hero Jackson
Striker Simeon Jackson is not banking on a place in the Norwich City starting eleven for their crucial Championship match at Swansea – despite ending his long goal drought with a whirlwind hat-trick.
The Canadian international had waited more than five months for a goal when he struck three times after coming on as a substitute, as the Canaries stormed to a 6-0 home win over Scunthorpe United at a packed Carrow Road.
With skipper Grant Holt netting three times earlier in the afternoon, it was the first time two City players had scored hat-tricks in a League game.
Victory took Paul Lambert’s men four points clear in second place ahead of Saturday’s trip to the Liberty Stadium, with just seven matches to go.
Jackson, who replaced on-loan Spanish debutant Dani Pacheco 20 minutes from time with the score at 3-0, scored twice in as many minutes before adding a third in stoppage time, but knows competition for places in attack is such that there is no guarantee he will start the next game – even with Wes Hoolahan a fitness doubt because of a hamstring problem.
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“It’s up to the manager. He has a headache now,” said Jackson. “It’s one of those things. Dani has come in and done magnificently, and the whole team has been playing well.
“So definitely the strength in the squad we have is going to make it a lot more difficult, but it’s what we need.
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“The way everyone has been playing has made it a lot more difficult. But that’s what you want, especially where you are in the league. You want competition and it’s going to push us on to the end and hopefully get us up there.”
Jackson’s last goal for City prior to Saturday was the winner at home to Middlesbrough on October 23.
He said: “It was good, it’s been a long time coming. I haven’t scored for months. So it’s a big, massive relief and just to tie it to the way we have been playing was really good.
“As a striker you just have to get into the box and get on the end of things, and that is what I’ve done.
“The skipper did that as well early on, so it’s a credit to the way we have been playing and just getting the result was the most important thing.
“Even watching it from the sides, some of the stuff we played was unreal, and to come on and play a part, get some goals, was even better.”
Jackson, returning from midweek international duty against Belarus, scored after 75 and 77 minutes and had already put one header wide in injury time when he diverted Andrew Surman’s cross-shot into the net, almost on the whistle, to complete his treble.
“The way we were playing, chances were coming and I knew there would be another one left in it, so I was just delighted it came,” he said.
Manager Lambert said Jackson had answered his critics with his goals.
“He’s had unfair criticism – that’s my view,” said Lambert. “He came in at a time when the three lads up front from last season were scoring goals for fun, so it didn’t matter who you brought in. It was always going to be a big ask for him.
“I’ve been delighted with him and his three goals will give him a huge lift - his hat-trick was, in a strange way, probably more pleasing than Holt’s because Holt is expected by a lot of people to score goals. Some people were questioning him but I’m absolutely delighted for him.”
• Last time City scored six in a league game was 6-1 home win over Millwall in Division Two on December 21, 1985.
• City’s last 6-0 league win was against Birmingham at Carrow Road in Division Two on April 15, 1970.
• Grant Holt’s hat-trick took him to 51 goals for City in 85 appearances – the second fastest half-century in club history. Ralph Hunt took 79 games to reach 50 goals, back in 1957.
• Holt became first player since Iwan Roberts to reach 50 goals for City.
• Last time two City players scored hat-tricks in the same game was 8-0 win over Sutton United in FA Cup on January 28, 1989 – Malcolm Allen (4) and Robert Fleck (3).
• Simeon Jackson became second City substitute to score a hat-trick this season, after Wes Hoolahan in 4-2 home win over Sheffield United.