Jay’s goal target

AFTER getting off the mark in style with four goals against Burton, Jay Rodriguez is looking to better his tally of 15 last season.

The 22-year-old was joint-top scorer with Chris Eagles last term, after netting 11 goals after the turn of the year - 10 after the arrival of boss Eddie Howe.

The modest youngster wrote his name large into the history books as the first Claret to score more than three in a game since Paul Barnes hit five in 1996, and the first to score exactly four since Peter Noble in 1975.

He is the 24th Burnley player to score more than three goals in a match, the first to score four in a League Cup tie, the fourth Burnley-born player to score a hat-trick, and first to bag four in a game!

But he is just focussing on improving his all-round game: “I haven’t set a target, I just want to hit more than 15 and improve on last year, and improve my whole game as well.

“I’ve still got a lot to improve.

“That’s what I want to do this year and work harder.

“I don’t think settling for what I got last year is good enough.

“I need to keep improving. That’s what I’ll try and do and still keep enjoying it. That’s important as well.”

Back in his lucky yellow boots, he is proud to wear the number 9 shirt: “It was amazing to get the number 9 shirt.

“I was hoping to get it and when I did I was chuffed to bits.

“It’s a massive statement.

“I’ve had my eye on it for a long time.

And he is enjoying spot kick responsibilities after the departures of Graham Alexander and Chris Eagles: “No-one could get ahead of Grezza. He was unbelievable at penalties – probably the best I’ve ever seen.

“I thought it was up for grabs – the penalty-taking job – so hopefully I can carry on putting them away.”

He netted his first two goals from the penalty spot before a trademark strike from distance, and a composed finish for his fourth, and he looked back on the night: “It’s amazing - to get my hat-trick is unbelievable but the main thing is that we got through the round and put a good performance on towards the end.

“It’s up there as a great achievement for myself to get a hat-trick, but it’s a bonus really.

“The main thing was winning the game and getting through.”

After a goal-less first half, there were six goals after the break and a further three in extra time - the most goals ever scored in a League Cup tie involving the club, equalling the most ever scored at Turf Moor in a cup match.

Rodriguez enjoyed watching the other Burnley goals go in from Charlie Austin and Ross Wallace: “Charlie’s was a great goal. He did really well and played really well.

“He hit one left foot into the top corner – you can’t ask for any more to be honest.

“The same with Ross, his was a great goal.”

Rodriguez’s third was up there, and he is starting to let fly more often from distance - as he became renowned for at youth and reserve team level: “When it opens up I don’t really know how far out I am, I just look to hit it and try to get a clean shot on target.

“I was chuffed to bits to see it creep in the bottom corner.

“It was similar to the one I scored at Torquay.

“I just look to strike the ball well and see if I can hit the target at least.”