Ivan Toney admitted he has cost Brentford at least half a dozen balls by practising free-kicks after starring in his side’s 5-2 win over Leeds.
The striker proved practice makes perfect when he scored an exquisite 20-yarder as part of a sparkling hat-trick on Saturday.
Toney had already netted a penalty – his 18th successful spot-kick in 18 attempts for the Bees – when he stepped up to take charge after Shandon Baptiste was fouled on the edge of the box.
The 26-year-old curled the ball around the wall and into the top corner to put the hosts 2-0 up with what was his first goal from outside the area for Brentford.
Then, after Luis Sinisterra had pulled one back for Leeds, Toney scored another beauty with a cute 30-yard chip to complete his terrific treble.
“I think I showed what I’m capable of,” Toney told the club website.
“With the penalty, I try my best to compose myself and put it in the back of the net and I did that.
“The free-kick, I’ve been practising them in training. All the boys have been getting on to me. I think we’ve lost six or seven balls from me skying them.
“But when it mattered on the pitch, I put it in the back of the net. That’s what I’m here to do.
“The third one, I think there were about 20,000 people screaming ‘shoot’!
“You’ve got to compose yourself in those positions and thankfully I chipped it into the back of the net. You’ve got to relax and shoot when the time is right.”
In a breathless finale, Marc Roca pulled a goal back before Bryan Mbeumo and Yoane Wissa wrapped up a thrilling 5-2 win for Brentford.
Diego Llorente and Robin Koch had a torrid afternoon but Leeds boss Jesse Marsch, who was sent to the stands for protesting about a penalty decision, refused to blame his defenders.
“We’re never going to point fingers, and if anyone wants to point fingers then it should be at the manager,” he said.
“I have to put the players in position to succeed. We’ve been doing a really good job. I think we’ve had a lot of decent games and some really good performances and picked up some points early in the year.”