Wilkins: Al-Dardour is Jordan's Geoff Hurst
Ray Wilkins likened Hamza Al-Dardour's situation to England's 1966 World Cup hero Geoff Hurst after a player left out of Jordan's first Asian Cup match responded with four goals in the 5-1 win over Palestine.
Al-Dardour was an unused substitute for a 1-0 loss to Iraq in his team's first match of the tournament in Brisbane on Monday.
The 23-year-old forward made up for his omission in fine style at Melbourne's AAMI Park, netting the first hat-trick of the 2015 tournament and finishing with just the fourth four-goal haul in the competition's history.
Asked why the fleet-footed marksman did not feature in his team's Group D opener, Jordan head coach Wilkins drew parallels with the man who famously upstaged Jimmy Greaves for Alf Ramsay's world champions.
"I said to the guys when we set off on this little journey of ours to Australia that we'll need everybody," he said.
"And Hamza was probably third choice behind Odai [Al-Saify] and [Ahmad] Hayel. I go back to 1966 when we [England] won the World Cup. Jimmy Greaves is one of the best centre-forwards in the world, Sir Alf Ramsay had to make a choice at some stage to keep Geoff Hurst in and it panned out quite nicely for him.
"Now Hamza's given me a horrible headache that I've got to try and sort out. Nevertheless, I'm delighted for him and I'm delighted for the lads as well."
Asked to elaborate on Al-Dardour's ability and potential, Wilkins did not hold back in his assessment of the man of the match.
"I think you saw today what his assets are. He's got blistering pace, and when in front of goal, he'll stick it in the back of the net. He's very composed. His pace will scare people because he is that quick. I'm sure he could do whatever he desires to do, to be perfectly honest."
Wilkins' team selection for the decisive clash with Japan on Tuesday will be complicated by the return of Hayel to fitness.
The star striker sat out the Palestine game after suffering from severe dehydration in the wake of the Iraq loss, a condition that prevented him from supplying a drug test sample to AFC officials.
"The situation has improved very well indeed, which I'm thrilled about, because he was in a pretty nasty way," Wilkins said.
"He looks as if he'll be ok to train tomorrow. And then we'll take it from there. If he's not good enough then we won't play him. The wellbeing of a player is far more important than anything else. Fingers crossed he'll be okay."