When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Rodriguez stakes claim to start for Saints against Villa
Jay Rodriguez believes he has improved as a player since joining Saints, even if his first few months at the club have been frustrating at times.
The 23-year-old, pictured, arrived at St Mary’s last summer in a £7m deal from Championship side Burnley.
At the time, the fee paid for his services was a club record, only for it to be trumped soon after by the £12m capture of Gastón Ramírez from Bologna.
The price tag, coupled with a burgeoning reputation forged in the second tier, meant expectations were high following Rodriguez’s transfer.
But the forward has been unable to nail down a regular place in Nigel Adkins’ team this term.
He started the campaign as a regular selection, however he was utilised mainly on the left-hand side, rather than through the middle.
Rodriguez then dropped onto the substitutes’ bench for a spell, but has started to force his way back into the reckoning, turning in some impressive recent displays.
He scored in the 3-3 draw at Stoke and also put Saints in front against Chelsea in last weekend’s FA Cup defeat, with his form coinciding with opportunities to play in a more central position.
“It has been a learning curve playing against better players and better teams,” admitted Rodriguez.
“It has been a little bit frustrating as I’ve not had as many games as I would have like to have played.
“But all I can do is work hard and just carry on trying to improve as a player.”
Full story in today's Daily Echo