JAY Rodriguez is coming back to Burnley this weekend – as a fan.
The 23-year-old is joining family and friends in the Bob Lord Stand to give his backing to his boyhood club, and former team-mates, in tomorrow’s red hot East Lancashire derby clash.
For the former Clarets striker, it will be his first time back at Turf Moor since making a record £7million move to Southampton in the summer.
And he is confident his old club can finally end their hoodoo against their rivals.
“I’m sure it will be a good result for Burnley,” he said.
“With the players they’ve got and the occasion I think they’ll come out on top.
“I really wish I was playing in it.
“It should be a good atmosphere and a great game to be involved in.
“But the next best thing is being there and I’m glad that it has worked out that way.
“It was the first fixture I looked for when they came out.
“And when I realised that we were at Liverpool the day before I hoped I’d be able to get up to the game.
“We’ve been in on Sundays for a warm-down after playing on a Saturday, but that stopped a few weeks ago.
“So I’m looking forward to spending time with my family and friends tomorrow.
“Everyone I know is going to the game!”
And Burnley-born Rodriguez admits his pre-match butterflies have already started to kick in.
“I’m really excited and a little bit nervous – like all the players will be getting,” said the striker, whose dad, former non-league hotshot Kiko took him to his first Clarets game as a five-year-old.
Robbie Blake was one of his boyhood favourites.
He feels the stage is set for his former strike partner, Charlie Austin, to be the hero tomorrow.
“He’s proved already how good he is. I’m hoping he’ll score,” said Rodriguez.
“Hopefully we’ll get the win today, and Burnley win tomorrow, and it will be a good weekend all round.”