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Ings can only get better, says ex-Burnley ace Rodriguez
TOP scorer Danny Ings will be even better for his international experience, says ex-Claret and under 21 international Jay Rodriguez.
The 11-goal Burnley striker will be the latest name to be added to the club’s international ‘Roll of Honour’ at Turf Moor after coming off the bench in England U21s 4-0 win over San Marino on Thursday night.
The 21-year-old succeeds Rodriguez as the Clarets’ newest England U21 cap, two-and-a-half years after his former team-mate made his debut as a second-half substitute away to Italy.
Burnley-born Rodriguez knows the impact international recognition can have. He was joint top scorer with Chris Eagles that season, ended and the following season as the club’s 21-goal top marksman and fans’ player of the 2011/12 campaign.
He went on to complete a record £7million switch to Premier League side Southampton in the summer of 2012.
And the 24-year-old is confident the experience can help Ings get even better this season.
“You are meeting new players and playing with different players of a really high standard and they expect a lot of your performance when you’re with the England set-up,” said Rodriguez.
“It’s a good test and I’m sure Danny will benefit from that.
“It gives you more self-belief and confidence. It’s an achievement to be selected by the under 21s and I’m sure it will kick him on now to get even more goals.”
He added: “There is no feeling like pulling on the Three Lions.
“To see the shirt and put it on, knowing you’re representing your country, it’s a really good feeling and something I won’t forget.
“I was surprised but really chuffed when I got the call.”
Like Rodriguez, Ings was given the number 17 shirt for his debut, coming off the bench as a second half substitute in Thursday night’s 4-0 win over San Marino. And the symmetry was not lost on the former Burnley marksman.
“It’s a bit weird I suppose but it’s great that he had the same number as me,” he added.
Rodriguez’s debut proved to be the striker’s only U21s appearance. He was named in Stuart Pearce’s provisional 40-man squad for the 2011 European Under 21 Championships in Denmark but did not make the shortlist.
With Ings expected to be involved in Tuesday night’s home game with Lithuania, at Ipswich Town’s Portman Road, Rodriguez is confident Ings’ cap will be the first of many.
“When you’ve represented your country it gives you that hunger and desire to want to do it again,” he said. “You want to achieve more and keep playing.
“He’ll want to be selected again.
“If he carries on doing what he’s doing that will happen, and I’m sure he will.
“He had a bad injury when I was at Burnley but he came through that really well. I got the chance to train and play with him. He’s a really good player and it’s no surprise he is doing really well this season.
“He’s a good lad and works really hard. He’s got a good partnership with Sam Vokes and they’ve fired Burnley to the top of the Championship, which is nice to see.
“It was a big loss to lose a player like Charlie Austin in the summer but with Danny and Sam there were no real worries.
“They are doing their stuff now and producing the goals.”
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