Rodriguez netted a hat-trick in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League clash, as the striker made just his second appearance following a long absence with injury.
Technical Director Hunter was pleased with his display, both on and off the pitch, as Saints made it back-to-back away wins with Rodriguez in the side.
“He was terrific,” Hunter enthused when talking to youtube.com/southamptonfc
. “He’s come through a lot of difficult periods, but he was terrific.
“He was leading the young players with his performance, but also in the way he spoke to them in the dressing room and at the hotel before the game.
“It’s great to have players like that at the club, that can really help the younger players to develop.
“It was great to have him playing for 80 minutes. He scored a very good hat-trick, but he needs the ammunition, which was supplied by the younger players.”
And Hunter was impressed with Rodriguez’s efforts in front of goal against the Reds. “Three chances, three goals – he couldn’t have done much better than that,” Hunter added.
Having spent a prolonged period on the sidelines, Hunter says Rodriguez has also been a huge help to the Under-21s players who are currently working their way back from injury.
“He’s been around the young players like Jake Flannigan and Marcus Barnes and has given them a lift,” Hunter added.
“They can see how hard he has worked to get back to fitness, and they are doing the same at present.”