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Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins: I think I've done enough for England recall

Ollie Watkins believes he is deserving of an England recall after his hat-trick helped Villa thrash Brighton.

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Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins (right) celebrates scoring his third goal of the game during the Premier League match at Villa Park, Birmingham. Picture date: Saturday September 30, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story SOCCER Villa. Photo credit should read: Barrington Coombs/PA Wire..RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications....

The striker does not think he could have done any more to impress Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate, who was at Villa Park to see his treble in Saturday’s 6-1 win.

Watkins, who earned the most recent of his seven caps in March last year, said: “I think I’ve done enough. I’ve just scored three goals against a top five team. I can’t do any more, so it is up to him.”

He continued: “I’m always disappointed when I am not in the squad because I want to be in there.

“But I can’t let it affect my game or play on my mind because once the decision is made you can’t really change it. I just focus on trying to score goals and that’s it.”

Watkins’ hat-trick saw him become the first Villa player in 46 years to score two hat-tricks in a season but he is promising more to come.

The 27-year-old, who hit three at Hibernian in the Europa Conference League in August, matched a mark last reached for Villa by Andy Gray in 1977.

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 for me. He has helped me so much. Credit to him.

“I will watch this game back and see what I could have done better, what I did well and just keep going again. I do that whether I have played well or badly. I do it every time.

“I think I have learned a lot in a short space of time. My movement, my mentality, being patient. As a striker, the best example is Haaland. He doesn’t touch the ball for 20 minutes and then scores. It is learning little things like that.

“I feel like since the manager has come in, I’ve come into my own. When I get on a goalscoring run, I feel like there is no stopping me really. I am just getting warmed up now. There are plenty more goals to come this season.”

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