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Stern John claimed his first matchball for Saints and immediately handed it to his son. The Trinidad and Tobago international bagged a hat-trick inside 20 minutes in the second half of Saturday's 4-0 win over Hull.


It was Southampton's biggest league win at St Mary's and their best home league margin for 11 years.
And it was John's first treble for four years to send the powerful frontman home clutching the matchball for his 11-year-old son Tyrik.

He said: "My last hat-trick was for Birmingham at Orient in October 2002 so this has been a long time coming.
"It is a fantastic feeling and it is nice to keep the ball which I will give to my son. He is a big fan of his dad."

John had absolutely no doubts about claiming the ball even though his second goal took a big deflection off a defender.
He added: "It was on target so of course I am claiming it! And to be fair it was the kind of break we deserved after what happened to us at Ipswich.

And the third was a nice way to round off the hat-trick. The defender backed off and I did not think twice, I just hit it and it was a good finish.
"It is not my fastest hat-trick because I got a quick one for Forest but it was an important one because it meant we won the game and that was the key thing, especially after last Tuesday.

"We were all desperately disappointed not to beat Sheffield Wednesday because we played well but just could not break them down.
"It was the same against Hull. It was up to us to find a way through and thankfully this time we did that.

"We really needed this victory which put us back in the top 10 and hopefully it will kick-start our season.
"We need to push on into that top six and then in January we can make a run for promotion."

John's goals fired Sunderland to the title last season and he previously helped Birmingham to the Premiership too.
Now he is aiming for a hat-trick of a different kind by winning a third promotion to the top flight with Southampton.

With his track record, John knows what it takes - and he is confident Saints are on the right track.
He added: "Having done it with Birmingham and Sunderland I know this is the right style of football to get up.

"Southampton's style suits me. We play football and you need to do that and show that quality to get out of this division.
"You need quality and we have that. We conceded a lot of goals early on but as long as we defend properly, we have the chance to win games.

"We always create opportunities and we have good strikers who can take them. I had to be patient when I first came here because Grzegorz Rasiak and Bradley Wright-Phillips were doing well.
"Now I have my chance and I have to keep performing because we have plenty of good strikers and that is the key to winning promotion.

"And the fans have to be patient too. It can be frustrating for them because they want to see the ball going forward.
"But you don't win a game in the first five minutes. It is over the 90 so it is a case of being patient."