Sergio hitting his straps

Striker Sergio van Dijk took until Round 14 to net a goal in open play, but has been on fire since, culminating in a hat-trick against Sydney FC on Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium.

Striker Sergio van Dijk took until Round 14 to net a goal in open play, but has been on fire since, culminating in a hat-trick against Sydney FC on Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium.

After a slow start in the Hyundai A-League since arriving from the Netherlands, van Dijk now has 10 goals for the season and coach Frank Farina could not be happier.

Van Dijk copped plenty of bad press during his lean trot, but Farina said he always had belief.

"I've been saying from day one the goals will come, there was a bit of negativity at some stages, but people tend to forget that Serg has set up seven or eight goals, and now he's scored 10," Farina said.

"Sometimes you lose confidence, but you don't lose ability, his confidence might have been a little bit low, but he was still playing well for the team."

"Now that the goals are there, I'm just happy for him … he's settled now and doing really well for the team."

Van Dijk believed there was no magic reason behind his turnaround in form.

"That's the thing, I didn't do anything different, I tried to stay cool and keep my head and keep my own confidence," he said.

"I knew the goals would come."

"That's a striker's thing, sometimes you score a goal and they keep on coming."

Making van Dijk's performance all the more impressive is the fact he was only given the green light to play the game on Friday when scans cleared him of a fractured cheekbone.

"My cheek is okay, nothing is broken, I still have a little bit of pain, but it's nothing much, before the game I knew it was an important game, so even if it was broken I would try and play if possible," he said.