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Lukaku credits ex-Everton manager Martinez after hat trick vs Sunderland

Everton's Romelu Lukaku ended his scoring drought in a big way by burying three goals in the second half against Sunderland.

Everton striker Romelu Lukaku certainly has seen the photographs, ones that claim he was miserable upon learning that his former club coach Roberto Martinez would be taking his national team reigns at Belgium.

But Lukaku, 23, is crediting Martinez with pulling the right strings to snap him out of his goal-scoring slump.

[ MORE: Match recap | JPW’s UCL predictions ]

The striker has five goals between Belgium and Everton this week, including a quick-fire hat trick against Sunderland on Monday, and he says the best is yet to come (with a shout out to Martinez).

“It was coming, when I went to Belgium it was all about my fitness levels,” Lukaku said. “They weren’t as good as I wanted them to be. Martinez helped me with the technical stuff and I was happy. I managed to finish the other chances, and I’m happy for the team.”

Everton rises to third in the table, level on points with No. 2 Chelsea. The Toffees look reinvigorated under new manager Ronald Koeman, and both Yannick Bolasie and Idrissa Gueye have been electric for the Goodison Park set.

Could this be the year Everton makes a serious Top Five push?

Follow @NicholasMendola