Burnley striker Jay Rodriguez not over-thinking absence of Chris Wood and Matej Vydra for Premier League opener

Jay Rodriguez has hit the ground running in pre-season.

Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 7:30 am

The Burnley striker has netted three times in one-and-a-half games so far as the Clarets begin to build up a head of steam.

The 31-year-old, who celebrates his birthday on Thursday, scored twice in a 4-0 win over Salford City in a behind-closed-doors friendly at the Barnfield Training Centre.

And the England cap followed that up with the opener in Burnley's 2-0 victory over League Two Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park.

Jay Rodriguez of Burnley is closed down by Mario Lemina of Fulham during the Premier League match between Fulham and Burnley at Craven Cottage on May 10, 2021 in London, England.

"It's nice to be back and have the fans there," he said. "We're just getting used to being back out on the pitch and playing against opposition.

"We've had a tough couple of weeks to find our feet and improve our fitness so we've just got to keep working hard.

"You always want to get off the mark as soon as you can. It's all about what you do on the training field and hopefully that translates into the games.

"I've just got to keep getting myself into the right positions. I'll keep working hard and I'll be looking forward to every game."

Chris Wood #9 of Team New Zealand scores their side's second goal during the Men's First Round Group B match between New Zealand and Honduras on day two of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ibaraki Kashima Stadium on July 25, 2021 in Kashima, Ibaraki, Japan.

Rodriguez, who has made more substitute appearances than starts since returning to Turf Moor from West Brom, could be called upon to lead the line when the season starts.

Boss Sean Dyche will be without the club's record Premier League goalscorer Chris Wood when Brighton pay a visit on August 14th.

The New Zealander has been hitting the back of the net for the OlyWhites at the Tokyo Olympics, meaning his return to domestic duty will be delayed.

Matej Vydra could also be absent after representing the Czech Republic at the European Championships.

Denmark's forward Yussuf Poulsen (R) fights for the ball with Czech Republic's forward Matej Vydra during the UEFA EURO 2020 quarter-final football match between the Czech Republic and Denmark at the Olympic Stadium in Baku on July 3, 2021.

There will be a void to fill, with Ashley Barnes also available for selection, but Rodriguez isn't reading too much into it.

He said: "We didn't have too many weeks off last summer and then we were straight back into it.

"It was a difficult season with all the restrictions and everything else that was going on in the world.

"It was good to have a longer break to recharge the batteries and now we're itching to get going. I feel refreshed.

"I feel good, I feel fit and strong. I just take it day-by-day and keep pushing myself. I'll just concentrate on each training session and each game. I'll keep working as hard as I can.

"We've got some great lads here and we're all working hard. The competition is always healthy and really good for us."