The striker told the club's website: "It's been a tough year and a bit at times," he said, "but nights like that make it all worth it. It was great for my family and of course the Club.
"It's always nice to get goals, but especially a hat-trick because I'd only ever scored one other before that.
"But the most important thing is the team won again, showing the progress that we've made over the last two weeks, and hopefully we can keep that going."
Two of Bent's goals were created by Tom Huddlestone, who was in fine form against the Croatian champions.
Benty added: "Tom was brilliant all night for me and it was just a case of me finishing it off. As a striker, you want players like that around you who can create chances for you."