Jay Rodriguez says Saints are finding their feet away from home ahead of Saturday’s trip to Aston Villa in the Barclays Premier League.
Saints have lost only once in their last four outings away from St Mary’s, a record which was kick-started by a 3-1 win over Queens Park Rangers in November; and Rodriguez says the squad are more confident now on their travels.
“We look really strong,” Jay told Saints Player who reflected on a run that has included hard earned draws at the likes of Fulham and Stoke over Christmas.
“We’ve got self-belief that we’re good enough to be here and to move up the league, and because we’ve worked hard I think we’ve deserved to pick up the points.”
That buoyancy will be put to the test this weekend in a big game against Aston Villa, the side immediately above Saints in the table, with the Villans under pressure to deliver having not picked up a league win in any of their last four matches.
“They’re still a great side but we’ve got nothing to fear,” the striker states. “We’re very confident going into the game, it’ll be a tough game, but I think we’ve got enough in the team to get the three points that we need.
“We’ve watched and analysed all week and we’re prepared for the game.
“We’re full of confidence,” Jay adds. “We know it’ll be a hard game but we’ll roll our sleeves up prepare for the game as it’ll be a game you want to be a part of and one that I’ll look forward to.”
Rodriguez has benefitted from more minutes on the pitch in recent games, repaying the faith that Nigel Adkins put in him by scoring last weekend and playing a large part in two goals at Stoke, but the frontman is eager to kick on as he continues to evolve as a Premier League player.
“I have had to adapt obviously,” he explains. “The players are a lot better and defences are a lot stronger and cleverer, I’m also not playing as regularly as I was last year so that’s something I’ve got to adapt to as well.
“It’s frustrating because I want to be on the pitch as much as I can to try and get a run of form going and make myself a better player. As soon as I get on out onto that pitch all I want to do is play, so it’s frustrating at times, but I’m working hard.
“I’ve scored a few lately but there are still things I think I can improve on in my game.
“I’ve been quite lucky with the goals that I’ve scored and I want to keep on improving.”