Aston Villa's hat-trick hero, John Carew, has revealed that ditching his trademark black gloves played a hand in his impressive second-half hat-trick against Newcastle United and says he may now shed them at half-time in every game as part of a new match ritual.
Carew, who has now scored nine goals in the Barclays Premier League this season, claims he is not overly superstitious, but admits it was only after he took off his gloves at half-time that the goals started coming.
He joked: "I was doing a high five with Freddie Bouma at half-time and he had warming cream on his hands and then I rubbed my eye. I realised that if I did that again, I might not be able to see, so I took the gloves off.
"I felt it was better to do that than risk another accident out there. I've been wearing gloves for two months now and I'm just used to them.
"I wear gloves in training too and maybe I should try to take them off at half-time now every week! But I am not very superstitious."
Carew's three goals, in front of another bumper Villa Park audience of over 42,000 spectators, provided the first hat-trick scored at the stadium by a Villa player since Savo Milosevic hit three goals in a 4-1 victory over Coventry City on December 16 1995.
Carew, who last scored a hat-trick while playing for Valencia against Real Madrid in Spain seven years ago, said: "I am honoured to have scored a hat-trick for the Villa fans after such a long time. "I am going to put the match ball somewhere really nice in my house now."
He finished off the hat-trick with a penalty after Stephen Carr handled in the penalty area.
Carew was given the chance for his third goal of the afternoon when regular penalty-taker Gareth Barry stood down. The Norwegian said: "After scoring two goals, I wasn't really thinking about taking the penalty at all, but Gareth told me to take it. He gave me the opportunity and I am grateful for that."
Carew continued: "I scored 15 or 16 goals in a season regularly for Valencia, but I am not going to think about targets. I just want to think about winning games and getting three points for Villa. The most important thing is that we do well and that the team does well."
Villa bounced back well from last weekend's setback at Fulham and Carew said:
"There is no problem with confidence, but we have to be 11 players with confidence.
"We all have to work together. If there are only one or two players with confidence, then it will be tough but everybody feels comfortable and there is a great belief here, as it showed in the football we played in the second half. We showed that we can play great football."
Carew praised his new strike partner, Marlon Harewood, after Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan had claimed the pair were able to 'bully' his side and admitted that Villa's new heavyweight combination cost them the match.
The Norwegian claimed he and Harewood had shown what they were capable of doing to a fragile Newcastle defence. He said: "Marlon is a strong player, he has a great work rate and gives us an extra dimension.
"It made it easier to get control of the match, put pressure on the defenders, and make chances. He was a big part of that and his entrance [at half-time in place of Stiliyan Petrov] was very important to us."
Carew said he was not afraid to be labelled a bully as that suggested he had done his job. He said: "The team showed we can play and we showed we really believe we can do it.
"In the second half, we showed we are a team who deserve to be in the position we are in and with me and Marlon like two heavyweights, of course it was difficult to cope with us."