Shay Given hailed Manchester City team-mate Carlos Tevez for the hat-trick which saw off Wigan in the Barclays Premier League last night.
Tevez escaped punishment for an ugly second half incident which saw Wigan defender Gary Caldwell sent off for a similarly crude challenge — and responded to the reprieve with three goals in 13 minutes.
Given said: “It was a bit of a scrappy first half and the manager let us know at half-time he wasn't happy — but we upped it a gear.
“Carlos was fantastic, he scored three great goals.”
The Republic of Ireland goalkeeper hopes his team have what it takes to finish fourth in the table and claim a place in next season's Champions League.
Given, whose team are two points adrift of Tottenham with seven games remaining, added: “We've got a lot of big games coming up and hopefully we can get across the line.
“It will be a tense finish and hopefully we can back tonight's result up with three more points on Saturday at Burnley.”
City boss Roberto Mancini said: “It was an important win, it wasn't easy and it was difficult in the first half because Wigan played very well and there was no tempo from us.
“We played better in the second half and after the sending off it was too easy. The sending off probably changed the game.
“Carlos is a fantastic striker and I hope he continues (scoring) in the last seven games.
“I also hope Emmanuel Adebayor can play better. He's been out of the game for a long time (four-match suspension) and it's difficult in the first game when you come back.”
Tevez appears to have made it his personal mission to lead City towards the promised land of Champions League football.
The Argentinian striker took his tally for the season to 25 goals with a quickfire hat-trick.
City had most of the possession in the first half but couldn't make the breakthrough.
The visitors were reduced to 10 men in the 55th minute when former Celtic defender Caldwell was handed a straight red card as he tried to win the ball off Tevez.
Wigan were furious with referee Stuart Attwell but they pulled themselves together and almost went ahead. Marcelo Moreno got the better of Kolo Toure and cut inside but his effort went marginally wide.
City made the breakthrough in the 72nd minute after a mix up between Paul Scharner and Vladimir Stojkovic allowed Adebayor to get the slightest of touches in the penalty area.
That was enough to free Tevez, who made Wigan pay for their error with a clinical finish. Adebayor should have added a second but Scharner made up ground before Tevez added a second in the 75th minute. He scored at the back post after Vincent Kompany had flicked on a cross from Adam Johnson and completed his hat-trick in the 85th minute.
He skipped away from a tiring Scharner and Titus Bramble to chip into the corner.
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez highlighted Caldwell's red card as the key moment.
"The decision was a key moment in the game and until that moment we were coping really well with everything Man City had," he said.