Jay Rodriguez is hoping his patience pays off after scoring his first Premier League goal for his hometown club.
Rodriguez, who hit 33 Premier League goals for Southampton and West Brom, didn’t make a top flight appearance in his first spell with Burnley, and he is still to make his first Premier League start for the club after returning in the summer.
But he came off the bench to net the Clarets’ first equaliser at Aston Villa, where his and West Brom’s play-off dreams ended in a penalty shootout in May.
Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes have got the nod in all seven Premier League games so far, with Rodriguez’s only start seeing him score in a 3-1 Carabao Cup defeat to Sunderland.
He got his longest Premier League runout on Saturday, coming on for Jack Cork, who had a shoulder injury, at the break, and rose superbly to head in Erik Pieters’ cross.
Rodriguez impressed on the right hand side, and hopes to have laid down a marker: “It is healthy competition and everyone has to stay patient and continue to work hard and effect what I can affect.
“Woody and Barnesy are great lads and great footballers and they have made me feel really welcome.
“I always want to learn off other players and every striker I play alongside.”
Barnes and Wood now have seven goals between them, and Rodriguez admits it has been hard to argue against them being Sean Dyche’s preferred pairing: “That is football and one of those you things, you have to focus on what you can do and be ready when the time comes.
“Just keep your head down.
“I always want more and more goals and take every chance I can.
“I will keep my head down and work hard.
“The lads and staff and everyone has made me feel really welcome.
“The atmosphere coming into training and working is really fantastic.
“There is no limit to what we can achieve but we are taking each game as it comes.”
Rodriguez is focused on building on a three-game unbeaten run at home to Everton on Saturday: “Now we are focused on recovery and the game against Everton which is going to be tough.
“Momentum is key in football and hopefully we can keep building and get a positive result next Saturday to take into the international break.
“You can only look to the next game.”
Villa have let eight points slip from winning positions, and Rodriguez was happy to silence a few taunts as a returning former Baggie: “There is that bit of rivalry and it is nice.
“If you look at it, Villa probably deserved to get promoted.
“It was two tough games and we just missed out on penalties unluckily for us.
“But it is a great stadium to come to and atmosphere.
“It is good to get a result here.”