Jay Rod’s joy at England debut

Jay Rodriguez admitted his England debut on Friday night was an unforgettable experience.

And he hopes to learn and improve from his first outing in the Three Lions shirt to get another chance to impress.

So proud: England's Jay Rodriguez battles for the ball with Chile's Eduardo Vargas

So proud: England's Jay Rodriguez battles for the ball with Chile's Eduardo Vargas

The 24-year-old started at Wembley in the 2-0 defeat against Chile, playing 57 minutes before being replaced by Andros Townsend of Spurs.

England host Germany, again at Wembley, tonight with the former Clarets striker still part of Roy Hodgson’s squad, but, Rodriguez will on the bench with Daniel Sturridge and Townsend expected to start against Joachim Low’s side.

He received some harsh criticism from some national journalists after a nervy first appearance for his country, but he said: “It’s something I’ll store in my mind forever.

“It’s an unbelievable experience, it’s still surreal. The result was disappointing, but I’ll just have to learn and improve.

“I had butterflies, loads of emotions, it was unreal to be singing the national anthem before the game, but I’d just have loved a chance to score.

“There was one I threw myself at in the first half, I just couldn’t get to it, but it wasn’t meant to be, like Rickie’s (Lambert) dream debut.”

It was a frustrating night for Rodriguez, similar to his Premier League debut with Southampton at Manchester City, as he struggled to get involved, but as he flourished with games at the top level, he is determined to continue to improve and get the call for his country again: “The manager just said ‘well done’, that’s all, it was just a disappointing result.

“You aim to play at the highest level, but you have to take each stage as it comes.

“Chile played really well, it was a tough game, and a learning curve to play against that type of player.

“It’s something I can take from and try and improve as a player.”

No-one will ever take away the fact he is now a senior England international, and he smiled: “I never thought, from the old days at Barden and Barrowford Celtic, that I’d end up here, but I’m really happy.

“My family have been a massive influence, but I spoke to Pash (Terry Pashley) and thanked him, he brought me on and taught me the game, the way he trained me and spoke to me was brilliant, he was harsh at times, but it made me better!”

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