Southampton forward Jay Rodriguez targets international return

Southampton forward Jay Rodriguez

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Southampton forward Jay Rodriguez has set his sights on a return to the England team after scoring on his return at St Mary’s.

The former Burnley hitman has endured a disappointing 12 months after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament against Manchester City back in 2014.

He had just started to get into Roy Hodgson’s England plans but the 26-year-old is now determined to force his way back into the international squad.

He scored Southampton’s only goal in their 1-1 draw with Espanyol in what was his first appearance at St Mary’s for 16 months.

Speaking about his plans for the season, Rodriguez is hoping to impress Hodgson ahead of Euro 2016 in France.

“You have got to aim high and for me the highest is to go and represent your country,” Rodriguez said.

“That is the main thing, it was the best achievement of my career so far and I want to replicate that. I’ve got a lot of hard work to do and hopefully it will come if I keep working hard.”

Although he was impressed by Rodriguez’s performance, Saints boss Ronald Koeman believes he still needs to do more to be ready to return in the Premier League.

He said: “He was a long time out and he is already scoring goals. The goal he scored is all about quality of the player.

“Now in a physical way he has to be 100 percent because that is what you need in the Premier League.”

Rodriguez will be hoping to play his part in Southampton’s clash against Newcastle on Sunday. His side are priced at 2.50 to win, with the draw 3.30, while the Magpies are available at 2.88 in the match betting.

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