sport

Cup run thrilling Rodriguez

The prospect of Southampton progressing in the FA Cup this season is fuelling the desire of striker Jay Rodriguez.

Some top-flight managers have suggested that playing in the cup competition is a very low priority.

But after helping to dump out former club Burnley in Saturday's 4-3 victory at St Mary's, the 24-year-old said: "Obviously we are disappointed with the goals conceded, but we are through to the next round, which is the main thing.

"It is very important and every player in there wants to go as far as we can in the FA Cup.

"It is a big cup for us and we want to get a good cup run going, so it is very important for us to make it through each round."

Rodriguez was born and raised in the Lancashire town and spent five seasons at Turf Moor before making the move south in June 2012.

It was the first time the forward had faced his former employers and declined to celebrate his goal, which saw both sets of fans greeting his 35th-minute introduction with a warm ovation.

"I did it out of respect to my old club," he added. "I still support them and still look out for them. I think it was good to show respect to them."

Rodriguez had plenty of friends and family in town for a match that looked to only be heading one way at half-time, with Nathaniel Clyne and Rickie Lambert strikes putting Saints 2-0 up.

And despite a valiant fightback from the visitors, the Saints held their nerve to book their passage into the fourth round.

"They made it tough," Rodriguez said. "They played really well, created some chances and put them away. I think Ingsy and Vokes are on fire at the moment, so there is no surprise there.

"You have always got to be wary of Burnley. They have scored a lot of goals and they showed that again. I thought we did really well to get the win."

While Rodriguez takes on West Brom next Saturday, Burnley will look to boost their chances of joining him in the Premier League with victory at Yeovil.

"Southampton are a big club with some big players and we have more than matched them at the end," said manager Sean Dyche, whose team enter the weekend in second place, four points shy of leaders Leicester.

"We were still going at it at 4-2 and 4-3 and right to the end. One of our biggest mantras is to have no excuses, no fear and no regrets.

"We play, as we do, and we come off the pitch knowing we have given everything and I thought that was absolutely evident. I am so pleased for the Burnley fans who travelled down because once again they have seen their team giving everything to win a game.

"It's a strange one to lose a game and have a feeling of pride and that you have done everything to win it, but that's a really good mindset for us. We have shown that many times this season and that's what we take from this game, because we kept at it and were relentless.

"The harshness of the business is you don't always get what you deserve. We possibly deserved a little bit more and didn't get it, but if you perform like that often enough, you win more games than you lose."