Liam Cullen | It's a night to be proud of
Liam Cullen says his four-goal masterclass in Swansea City Under-23s’ resounding 4-0 victory over Everton provided him with one of his proudest moments with the development side.
The in-form striker netted four times as the under-23s booked their place in the Premier League International Cup quarter-finals in emphatic fashion.
Cullen, who only scored his first hat-trick for the development side in the 5-1 rout of Middlesbrough, bagged another treble inside a frantic opening 20 minutes at Finch Farm, before adding a fourth in the 59th minute.
That made it seven goals in the competition for the 20-year-old, who has now scored 10 goals in his last four appearances and 17 overall for the season.
And the Wales Under-21 international has been delighted to see his hard work on the training ground come to fruition.
“It’s definitely a night I’m proud of. It’s right up there among my best moments for the under-23s – not just for the goals, but the competition that I’ve done it in,” he said.
“I go into every game wanting to score as many goals as I can and to take the chances that I get. It was nice that most of the opportunities that fell my way ended up in the back of the net on Monday.
“I want to make sure that I’m getting something out of every day, and that I’m improving every time I step on the pitch. I’m just trying to prove how good I am and perform the best I can.
“At the moment, I’m doing something right. It’s nice to see my hard work paying off and, hopefully, long may it continue.”
The under-23s are through to the knockout stages of the competition for the first time in three years, having also played out a 1-1 draw with former finalists PSV Eindhoven, as well as enjoying a resounding 5-1 success against two-time champions Porto B in Group D.
Victory over Everton was the fourth they have recorded in their last six matches across all competitions.
Cullen was quick to heap praise on his team-mates, who he says have played an instrumental role in his recent form.
“It’s a credit to the boys; without them, I wouldn’t be able to score the goals that I have,” he added.
“They’re the ones setting up the chances and putting the ball on a plate for me. It’s a pleasure to play with this group of players; whether we win or lose.
“I don’t think I’ve enjoyed playing football as much as I have in the last month. The goals are obviously a big factor in that, but it’s also down to the boys I’m playing with as well.
“We’ve shown what we’re capable of in this group. We’ve played against top players and played two top teams off the park; I also thought we were unlucky not to win our first one against PSV.
“To win the group is an amazing achievement for all the boys involved. Hopefully, we can carry on enjoying our football.”