Chasing 100 career league goals had been 'doing my head in', admits Burnley striker Jay Rodriguez

Homegrown Burnley striker Jay Rodriguez had been 'dying' to reach 100 career league goals.

By Dan Black
Wednesday, 9th February 2022, 11:07 am

The 32-year-old admitted that chasing the three-figure milestone had been 'doing his head in' having been one shy of his target for almost 12 months.

The England cap netted number 99 in a 3-0 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park last term, 21 appearances after he'd equalised against Liverpool at Anfield during the pandemic.

And he endured a 29-game wait to register his landmark finish against the Red Devils. "It [getting to 100 goals] has been doing my head in to be honest.

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"I’ve been dying to get it, but I’ve always got belief in myself and in how I work. I’m honest and I keep working on what I need to improve. I’ve had tough times earlier in my career and I knew that if I kept doing the work, I’d get there."

The ex-West Brom and Southampton forward combined with new man Wout Weghorst for the Clarets' equaliser after Paul Pogba had put Manchester United ahead in the 18th minute.

The Dutchman showed great feet to take Harry Maguire and Scott McTominay out of the equation before slipping Rodriguez in with a wonderful reverse pass.

Burnley's number 19, making only his fourth Premier League start of the campaign, intelligently stepped across the Three Lions centre back before tucking the ball beyond David De Gea.

Jay Rodriguez of Burnley scores their team's first goal past Luke Shaw, David De Gea and Harry Maguire of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Burnley and Manchester United at Turf Moor on February 08, 2022 in Burnley, England.

"It was a great touch from Wout," said Rodriguez. "You can see how well he holds the ball up when you play it into his feet, and he had great awareness to play it into me.

"I took it in front of Harry [Maguire] to make him make a decision as to whether he fouled me or not. It’s a natural thing for me to do that one-on-one and I’m pleased with it."

After being paired up for the first time with the club's January signing, who was denied his first goal since his move from VfL Wolfsburg following a sensational save from De Gea,

Rodriguez continued: "It was [a fantastic save from David De Gea]. He’s world class and pulls those saves out week-in, week-out.

Jay Rodriguez of Burnley celebrates with teammate Dwight McNeil after scoring their team's first goal during the Premier League match between Burnley and Manchester United at Turf Moor on February 08, 2022 in Burnley, England.

"For Wout to strike it like that, everyone thought that it was in. That showed his quality again."

He added: "We have a great group of lads here and with all of the strikers, everyone wants everyone to do well.

"It’s good that he [Wout] has come in and fitted straight in. We can see the qualities that he has to link-up play and we’ll carry on to keep improving and get that win that we want."