Jay Rodriguez can’t wait to be back in action at St Mary’s as Southampton welcome Vitesse in the Europa League on Thursday evening.
Rodriguez last played in front of the home supporters back in March 2014, scoring twice in a 4-0 win against Newcastle United in the Premier League.
He got his first taste of the St Mary’s surface in over a year-and-a-half on Tuesday as Ronald Koeman’s men trained at the stadium ahead of Thursday’s clash with their Dutch opposition.
It was a moment, the striker told youtube.com/southamptonfc, that he’d been waiting a long time for and he can’t wait to be back playing in front of a sold-out crowd against Vitesse.
“It was really nice to walk out at St Mary’s and be back on the pitch where I’ve played a lot of games,” Rodriguez said. “It’s nice to get the feeling back again and find my positions on the pitch.
“It’s great news that the stadium is full. It should be a great atmosphere. It’s the first game and it’s going to be a great occasion.
“We want to go and win, and win well. Everyone in the camp is looking forward to it.
“I think we are approach it the same as every game. We’re 100 per cent serious and we want to come out with the win and play well.
“We’ve learnt a lot about Vitesse and we’re prepared well. Hopefully we go out there and show what we can do.”
Rodriguez has already shown what he can do in pre-season, netting twice in the friendly with RB Leipzig and bagging a hat-trick against KVV Quick ’20.
That, he adds, has given him confidence ahead of the new campaign. “The main thing is I want to score goals,” he added. “The more I can put in the back of the net the better for confidence and for the team.
“It does give me confidence, but I always want more. I want to improve on the last game I played and score as many as I can. I’ll keep pushing myself and hopefully I can produce.”