Paul Warne believes Kieffer Moore illustrated why Rotherham United brought him to the relegated Millers.
The on-loan striker smashed a first-half hat-trick at the New York Stadium to demolish Phil Brown’s Southend United.
Moore opened the floodgates in the 15th minute when he slotted home from Ryan Williams’s pass and then 60 seconds later he added his second, tapping home Jamie Proctor’s pinpoint cross.
Joe Newell made it 3-0 after only 23 minutes and then Moore became the first man to score a competitive hat-trick at the New York Stadium when he netted from 12 yards.
Williams made it five just before the hour when another brilliant team move left him with the simplest of tap-ins.
The Millers threatened to equal their record home win but David Ball was denied by a good save from Mark Oxley while Southend were denied a late consolation when Marc-Antoine Fortune hit the post.
“He’s done really well,” said Warne of Moore. “I thought Proctor was really good as well.
“It’s always the same as the strikers get all the plaudits, so they should I suppose because that’s what people come to see. I’m really pleased for him to get a hat-trick because some people might have raised their eyebrows when we brought him here.
“I think he’s done really well, he’s bought into what we’re trying to do. He’s got himself in really good physical shape, and he believes in himself I wouldn’t want to play against him.”
Rotherham: O’Donnell, Emmanuel, Ajayi, Ihiekwe, Mattock, Williams (Forde 77), Potter, Frecklington (Vaulks 65), Newell, Moore (Ball 71), Proctor. Unused substitutes: Taylor, Purrington, Yates, Bilboe.
Southend: Oxley, Demetriou, White, Ferdinand (McLaughlin 66), Hendrie, McGlashan (Kiernan 27), Leonard, Timlin, Kightly, Cox (Robinson 60), Fortune. Unused substitutes: Ba, Yearwood, T Smith, Kyprianou.
Referee: M Salisbury (Lancashire).