ASSISTANT boss Jason Tindall hailed Jay Rodriguez as “an exceptional talent” after he rifled in the winner against Palace.
The 21-year-old crashed in his 10th goal of the season from 25 yards after only three minutes against the Eagles, and that proved sufficient for another three points.
The Clarets kept the heat on the promotion pack, and while they remain four points from sixth, with two games in hand on Leeds, they now lie nine from Swansea in the second automatic spot, having again played two fewer games.
Tindall was pleased with the overall display, and he said of Rodriguez’s thumping goal: “What a strike it was – it was worthy of winning any game. We’re just pleased we got the three points, and to keep a clean sheet is also very important for us.
“Nothing surprises you about Jay. He works extremely hard in training, he’s a fantastic finisher and what a strike it was to get his 10th goal of the season.
“I think he’s getting more confident as well and he’s working extremely hard at his game day to day.
“He’s an exceptional talent.
“He’s a very young lad and he’s got a very bright future in front of him.’’
After dominating the first half, Burnley had to dig deep to defend their one-goal lead after the break, and Tindall added: “It’s always tough when you play a side like Crystal Palace who are fighting at the bottom of the league.
“I thought we showed two sides of our game. We played some excellent football in the first half, in the second half we had to dig deep and we did that well as a team as well.
“We played some great football in the first half. We would have liked to have had maybe one or two more shots but we kept the ball very well and moved it from side to side.
“It was a very good first 45 minutes.
“It was a shame we couldn’t repeat that in the second half, but they threw everything at us and we defended well when we had to.”
And while automatic promotion is suddenly a realistic target, Tindall is not getting carried away just yet: “I know it’s an old cliché, but we’ll just continue to take each game as it comes.
“Our aim is to try to finish as high up the table as possible, and by putting in performances like Saturday, where you’ve got to do both sides of the game, and getting results that’s a good start for us.
“We’re on a good little run in the league and hopefully we can continue that, and you just never know where it takes you.”