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Hot Streak Thanks To Gaffer, Says Jay

PUBLISHED

19:34 30th March 2013

Saints striker Jay Rodriguez credited his manager for helping him hit top form after netting in today's win over Chelsea.

The striker scored his eighth of the season to put Saints on their way against the European champions this afternoon.

He has been a regular under new First Team Manager Mauricio Pochettino, and says he has played a major role in his recent performances.

"The manager has put his faith in me," Rodriguez told Saints Player

"He gives you belief that you should be on the pitch because he's played me and given me a chance. All I can keep doing is to try and do my best for him, and for the team.

"I was chuffed with the goal but, like I always say, it's the three points that matter," he continued.

"Rickie [Lambert]'s was a great goal as well – we were disappointed with the goal we conceded, but we went straight back in front. 

"Rickie's class showed with the free kick. When you've got someone like that in your team it is a lot easier.

"We just looked at this as another game against a good side. We took the game to them again and stuck to our game plan – and it worked."

Having gone in two-one up at the break, Saints had to show their defensive resolve in the second half as the visitors looked to level for a second time.

And they did so with aplomb, batting away wave-after-wave of Chelsea attacks to hold on for a vital victory.

"You've got expect [to defend] against Chelsea because they're a great side and they're the European champions," said Rodriguez. 

"We stuck with it and ground out a win where we probably would have crumbled earlier in the season. That shows how good defensively we are now."

Saints now sit 12th in the Barclays Premier League standings – their highest position of the whole season.

But Rodriguez is remaining typically grounded, warning that his teammates must maintain their focus during the final seven games of the campaign – starting with next weekend's trip to bottom club Reading.

"It's still tight down there, so we're going to concentrate on ourselves because that's all we can affect," he insisted. 

"Our next game is our most important game – that's what we all think and we'll be working all week for that. 

"It's important that we get three points to move us up the table. We'll work out a strategy and a tactic to play against them, and work hard to win the game."

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