Vincent Kompany challenges goal hero Nathan Tella to become Premier League star

Nathan Tella scored a hat-trick at Hull (Richard Sellers/PA)
PA Sport Staff

Vincent Kompany challenged Nathan Tella to become a Premier League player after his hat-trick strengthened Burnley’s position at the top of the Championship table following a 3-1 win at Hull.

The Clarets are now 13 points clear of second-placed Sheffield United with just nine league games remaining.

But 23-year-old Tella, on loan from Southampton, stole the show with a fifth goal in two games and a second hat-trick of the campaign.

Kompany said: “That’s what it (scoring goals) does for you.

“For this season, his level is Championship and now he’s got to aim for the Premier League.

“His career has now started. He can now look back and say that he can do it at this level. And when you score goals like he does, you always give yourself a chance.

“When you have a full season of playing competitively, that’s what it does for you.

“This has been the right step for him and us. I hope he’s looking forward to the next nine games to see how high the bar he can set for himself.

“He puts in the effort and he gets the goals.”

Burnley might not have been at their fluent best as Hull offered stout resistance – not least in the first half.

But once Tella opened the scoring after 43 minutes with a fine solo strike, an away win rarely looked in any doubt.

The hosts still offered plenty after the restart, but Burnley extended their lead after 59 minutes when Tella finished off Ian Maatsen’s wicked cross with a cute half-volley.

Tella’s hat-trick was gifted when Jacob Greaves gave the ball away across the face of goal after 73 minutes.

Ozan Tufan then battered home a consolation with the last kick of the game.

Kompany said: “It’s really difficult to maintain consistency across the season, but, for us, it’s been really important to set our targets.

“We are thinking more about a cycle. We’ve got a three or four-year period together. Can we continue that and keep improving the club? That’s the aim.

“It was a difficult game, in many aspects. We had to work really hard for it. In the end, we created really good chances and it’s probably normal that we scored goals as we have been doing it consistently.

“I can be pleased with the performance. I think the team knows that they’ve got to use these opportunities to get better. The more games, the more lessons we learn.

“You’ve got to be really happy with the result.”

Hull manager Liam Rosenior admitted that Burnley have set a Championship precedent to which his side should aspire.

He said: “Burnley are the benchmark for us. They are one of the best teams I’ve seen at this level in the last 10 years, if not the best.

“That is a team that play football the right way. That’s the level I definitely want to aspire to for this club.

“They have a player in Nathan Tella who is outstanding – three shots and three goals – but we’ll get better for this game.

“We’ll make mistakes, but I’m hoping the fans see what we are trying to do.”

Rosenior added: “There were so many positives and so many good individual performances.

“But we gave away some soft goals and against the best teams, you have to be 10 out of 10 in both boxes and we didn’t do that.

“We dominated the first 15 minutes in the second half, but it was gutting to give away the goals the way that we did.

“I’m trying to create a process and a style here and the players have bought into that.

“We are going to improve and get better – I’ve no doubt about it.”