Rodriguez capped an impressive all-round display with the final goal in Saints’ fifth home success of the season, but the striker admitted he was glad to make up for a missed chance earlier in the game by scoring in the 79th minute to seal the result.
The frontman described to Saints Player
how glad he was to see the opportunity come his way:
“I found myself pulling away and usually I see Rickie there but it opened up for me,” he explained. “I was chuffed with the third one as I got into the space, but maybe I should have had another one earlier in the game.
“I got a bit of luck, but was really chuffed to score. The one I’m disappointed with is the one in the first half (a volley over the bar) I’m gutted I missed it and can’t believe that I did, but I was delighted to end up scoring.”
The goal was no less than Rodriguez had deserved after another workman-like performance in attack, and the former Burnley man believes he is growing into the style of play at Southampton.
He said: “I feel I can play freely left to right and up top with Rickie Lambert and maybe I could have scored a few more today, but overall we played well enough for the three points as a team.
“You can learn so much from someone like Rickie the way he plays and every day in training, but I think everyone in the team deserves a mention today because they all worked hard and deserved the three points today.
“We set out to go and win the game,” he continued. “We pressed high, and were aggressive. We had a self-belief about us that we were good enough to go on and win the game which is what we did.
“We’ve worked very hard and worked through what we wanted to do in the game and it’s come to plan really. We’ve got the three points and we deserved it.
“The lads are buzzing, but we’re going to keep on working hard to pick up points between now and the end of the season.”
The win was the perfect tonic for Saints ahead of another break from the fixture schedule, but Jay confirmed there’ll be no switching off ahead of Chelsea’s visit on 30th March.
“We’re just going to concentrate on the next game now,” Rodriguez affirmed.
“We’ve got a break now, but we’ll work extremely hard to get more points when we play Chelsea. We know that’s going to be a tough game, but if we perform like that then we’ll be fine.”