Cotterill backs Rodriguez to star
Southampton striker Jay Rodriguez is being tipped to make his mark in the Premier League by the man who gave him his first pro deal.
Former Portsmouth manager Steve Cotterill was in charge of Burnley when he spotted Rodriguez as a youth teamer with some promise at the age of just 15-year-old. He didn't twice twice about bringing him into the first-team setup to train with the Clarets senior stars as quickly as possible and by the time he turned 17, he then handed him a £100-a-week professional contract. Rodriguez quickly established himself as a forward to be reckoned with in the Championship and after scoring 21 times last season, Saints boss Nigel Adkins decided to shell out £7m in the summer to bring him to St. Mary's, and Cotterill is convinced it will prove money well spent. He told the Daily Echo: "Jay has always been a fantastic boy, very level headed, always wanted to learn. "He wants to be a really good player and he is prepared to work hard to achieve that. "He would always stay back after training to work on things and he has always struck a lovely ball and always been a threat in the air with really good heading ability. "I always had a gut feeling from the first time I saw him that Jay was going to make it to the top level and do well there. "Right now he will be finding there is a step up in level but Jay will play in the Premier League regularly and do very well. "I am sure of that."