Ollie Watkins believes he is deserving of an England recall following his hat-trick in Villa’s rout of Brighton. The attacker believes he could not have done more to please Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate, who was at Villa Park to see his treble in Saturday’s 6-1 win.
“I think I’ve done enough,” Watkins, who earned his most recent of seven caps in March of last year, said. I just scored three goals against a top-five opponent. I can’t do anything else, therefore it’s up to him.”
“I’m always disappointed when I’m not in the squad because I want to be in there,” he stated.
“However, I can’t let it affect my game or play on my mind because once a decision is made, it’s hard to change it.” “I just try to score goals and that’s all.”
Watkins’ hat-trick made him the first Villa player in 46 years to score two hat-tricks in a season, and he promises there will be more to come.
The 27-year-old’s three goals against Hibernian in the Europa Conference League in August tied a Villa record set by Andy Gray in 1977.
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But he said: “It won’t be my last hat-trick this year, that is for sure. It’s only September, so hopefully I have a long way to go. At the end of the day, I want to score as many goals as possible.”
Asked if Saturday’s treble, against a Brighton team who had won five of their first six league matches, was more satisfying than the one against Hibs, Watkins continued: “I think so. No disrespect but when I scored the hat-trick against Hibs, people were saying: ‘Ah yeah, but they were near the bottom of the Scottish League’.
“To do it against a team like Brighton shuts a few people up, to be honest.”
Watkins is in talks over a new contract at Villa and while the striker remained coy on that subject, he did heap praise on head coach Unai Emery and his coaching staff, who he believes have helped take his game to another level.
Saturday’s goals took his total tally since joining Villa three years ago to 50, while he has netted 21 times in 36 matches since Emery took charge last November.
Watkins pointed to the work he does with individual performance coach, Antonio Rodriguez Saravia – nicknamed Rodri – as key to his improvement.
“I work with him every day, extras out on the training field,” he explained. “Sometimes we don’t even do finishing practice. We may just watch videos and analysis.
“He is the key to my success.” He has been of tremendous assistance to me. He deserves credit.
“I’ll look back at this game and see what I could have done better, what I did well, and just keep going.” I do it whether I’ve performed brilliantly or poorly. Every time, I do it.
“I believe I have learned a lot in a short period of time.” My movement, mindset, and patience. Haaland is the best example of a striker. He scores after not touching the ball for 20 minutes. It’s the simple stuff like that.
“I feel like I’ve come into my own since the manager came in.” When I’m on a scoring streak, I feel like there’s no stopping me. I’m still getting warmed up. There will be lots more goals this season.”