Watford striker Joshua King believes he was not given a chance during his time at Everton, saying he had a point to prove with his hat-trick in Saturday's 5-2 Premier League hammering of the Merseyside club.
King, who spent the second half of last season at Everton, left when his contract was not renewed. He marked his return to Goodison Park by scoring a treble https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-soccer-england-eve-wat-report/soccer-king-reigns-supreme-as-watford-beat-everton-5-2-for-ranieris-first-win-idUKKBN2HD0DH that earned Watford their first win under new manager Claudio Ranieri.
"I didn't get given a chance (at Everton), but I did wake up today and had a feeling," King told Sky Sports.
King became the third player to score a hat-trick against a side he has previously played for in the competition, after Andy Cole (for Man United v Newcastle) and Marcus Bent (for Wigan Athletic v Blackburn), according to Opta stats.
"That's football - but I feel like every time someone doubts you or doesn't believe in you, you want to prove a point. I felt I had a point to prove," King added. "I know it's not personal, but I woke up and said to myself, 'I have to be on my A-game today.' I didn't expect a hat-trick, but I'll take it."
Ranieri, whose side moved up to 14th on 10 points, heaped praise on King.
"I don't know why" he was not given starts at Everton, Ranieri said. "For me and my team he's a great striker.
"Not only because he scored a hat-trick, but the way he held the ball and kept the ball, linking with the midfielders, it was amazing. An amazing match."
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by William Mallard)