CHERRIES star Marc Pugh plundered his maiden career hat-trick and then dedicated his Birmingham heroics to his family.

Pugh scored three times in 21 second-half minutes as Eddie Howe’s men ran riot against the Championship strugglers at St Andrew’s yesterday.

His father Tony and mother Denise had travelled from east Lancashire to be among the crowd, while wife Laura and daughters Halle, three, and 14-month-old Grace kept up with proceedings from their home in Bournemouth.

Pugh told the Daily Echo: “I was delighted to score my first hat-trick. It was great for my mum and dad to be here to see it and I am so pleased for them. After getting married and having children, it was one of the best feelings ever.

“I love playing football and work hard for my family. I want to be successful for them and to give them a good life. There is no better way and better job to try to do that and I just want to be the best I can.”

Pugh added: “It was incredible. We created lots of chances and it could have been 13 or 14. We played some great football.

“We went in at half-time and the manager said he expected a lot more from us and rightly so. We were a bit sloppy in the first half, I gave away a few balls which was frustrating and it was important we went out and performed in the second half.

“Sometimes it can be difficult against 10 men because they shut up shop and get men behind the ball. But after the penalty had been saved, we ran riot and created an endless number of chances and it was a great game to be involved in. I was delighted for our fans. They must have enjoyed it and, hopefully, there will be many more days like it to come.

“The past couple of games have gone really well for me with assists and goals. As a winger, that is what you want. Simon Francis put a couple of great balls in for the first two and the third one was a nice finish.

“I was going to have a chat with TK (Tokelo Rantie) about the penalty but he needed a goal and I was delighted he got two because that will be great for his confidence and belief.

“We have got such a good squad. Brett has come in and is banging in the goals, Callum is scoring week in, week out and, defensively, we have been brilliant. Long may it continue and we can keep going from strength to strength.”