Jay Rodriguez praises Burnley assistant Craig Bellamy for the part he has played in the striker’s prolific start to the season

Burnley's leading scorer Jay Rodriguez has recognised the influence that assistant manager Craig Bellamy has had on his bountiful season so far.

The ex-Wales international arrived as Vincent Kompany's right hand man in the summer alongside Jelle ten Rouwelaar (goalkeeper coach), Bram Geers and Floribert Ngalula (first-team coaches) and Richard Bredice (lead first-team performance analyst and set-piece coach).

The former Newcastle United and Liverpool striker had played alongside the Burnley boss at Manchester City — joining Sean Dyche's successor on the scoresheet at Turf Moor in a 6-1 win in April 2010 — and was the Belgian's second in command for a spell at Anderlecht.

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Bellamy, 43, will return to South Wales on Saturday as the Clarets take on another of his former clubs, Cardiff City. The ex-PFA Young Player of the Year recipient, who was born in the Welsh capital, enjoyed a successful couple of stays with the Bluebirds.

He scored 11 times on loan in 2010/11, including another against Burnley when cancelling out Jay Rodriguez's effort in a 1-1 draw, before helping his boyhood club land the Championship title in 2012/13.

"It's been brilliant, Craig Bellamy has been great since coming in," said Rodriguez. "He sees things in my game that he saw in his own game, which has helped me out in situations. We had a chat today [Tuesday] about certain aspects of my game which he thinks I can improve and how that will help the team as well.

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"That's what you want as a player, someone who has that eye for detail, who can see what works while telling you how to improve as well. To listen to Bellamy, with the career he has had, and the coach he is now, is definitely a big thing and you need to listen to people like that."

He added: "We spend a lot of time at the training ground with all of the coaches. They're always around so you need to listen and learn from them. That's the way it is.

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Burnley assistant manager Craig Bellamy Photographer Alex Dodd/CameraSport The EFL Sky Bet Championship - Burnley v Luton Town - Saturday 6th August 2022 - Turf Moor - Burnley World Copyright © 2022 CameraSport. All rights reserved. 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - [email protected] - www.camerasport.com

"I've learned a hell of a lot in a short space of time. I can see the game a little bit differently in terms of what they've taught us, they're always working on your individual game as well as a collective, so I'm absorbing as much as I can. I'm only going to keep learning more so it's really exciting."

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The 33-year-old homegrown hero has netted five times in his last seven appearances in the Championship under the new regime.

The ex-Southampton and West Brom striker, who earned an international cap for England, scored against his former club at The Hawthorns, as well as Hull City, Wigan Athletic, Millwall and Bristol City.

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And there's much more still to come. "You want to score and help the team in any way you can and hopefully I can keep improving," he said. "It's only a start, but I'm happy with it, I'm pleased, but there's still a lot more work to be done. The main thing is that I give my maximum every game.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - AUGUST 30: Jay Rodriguez of Burnley celebrates after scoring their team's second goal during the Sky Bet Championship between Burnley and Millwall at Turf Moor on August 30, 2022 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
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"For me to be here at this stage of my career is really pleasing, but I've still got a hell of a lot to do in my career yet and doing it with Burnley makes it even more special."

Cardiff City's Craig Bellamy looks at the Championship trophy .. - (Photo by Ian Cook/CameraSport) - ..Football - npower Football League Championship - Cardiff City v Bolton Wanderers - Saturday 27th April 2013 - Cardiff City Stadium - Cardiff..© CameraSport - 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - [email protected] - www.camerasport.com