‘The league’s the priority for us now’ - Jay Rodriguez

Jay Rodriguez
Jay Rodriguez
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STRIKER Jay Rodriguez is hoping the Clarets can use Norwich’s Premier League tale to help write their own success story.

Paul Lambert’s Canaries prevailed in the FA Cup third round tie at Carrow Road with a convincing 4-1 win, with the hosts scoring twice in either half.

The Norfolk outfit, who completed the first back-to-back promotions from the third tier to the first tier of English football since Manchester City in 2000, have certainly imposed themselves on the Premier League, sitting comfortably in ninth spot.

“You look at Norwich – they were in the Championship last year and did really well to get into the Premier League, where they’re doing really well now,” said Rodriguez.

“You look to teams like that and aspire to be like them.

“They were a great side in the Championship and they’ve taken that on again in the Premier League.

“They are a difficult side to play.

“They work hard and play good football and score goals.”

He added: “The league’s the priority for us now.

“Hopefully we can keep moving up and improve our position.

“We just need to keep working hard in training during the week and make sure we make it count in the game at Middlesbrough on Saturday.”

Two early goals from Grant Holt and Simeon Jackson had seemingly sunk the Clarets early in the tie, but a stylish header on the quarter-of-an-hour mark from Rodriguez, his 13th of the campaign, gave Eddie Howe’s men hope.

Holt’s squandered spot kick, his first miss in three years, gave the Clarets further optimism, but second half strikes from man of the match Andrew Surman and substitute Steve Morison earned the home side a fourth round clash against West Brom at The Hawthorns.

“Obviously everyone’s disappointed,” said the 22-year-old.

“When we got one back at 2-0 we thought we had the momentum.

“But Norwich are a great side and played really well. They’ve got some great players and passed the ball quickly.

“It doesn’t help going 2-0 down, but even then we were still trying to create chances and trying to win the game.”

Rodriguez added: “It was nice to get one back and we were looking then to get the equaliser and push on.

“You start to think maybe you have a chance when they missed a penalty.

“We thought it was harsh in the first place, but when the referee gives it you’ve just got to deal with it.

“Credit to Norwich, at 4-1 it wasn’t to be.”

But the focus switches back to the Championship now, with a testing fixture against high-flying Middlesbrough looming.

“It’s a massive disappointment being out of the FA Cup but we can’t dwell on it too much,” he said.

“We have to look back on the defeat and try to improve on it in training ready for a big game on Saturday.

“We need to concentrate on the league.

“We can’t do anything about the cup now.

“We’ll work hard and look forward to Saturday and hopefully get the three points.”