Pochettino: Tottenham must respect this 27-year-old goalscorer
By Matt Farr
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino insists his players must be wary of the threat posed by Jay Rodriguez when they face Southampton on Wednesday.
Rodriguez scored twice as the Saints beat Bournemouth before Christmas, and is set to be reunited with his old boss.
Pochettino fears that the 27-year-old could spoil his return to St. Mary’s, but admitted he was happy to see his former star back in goalscoring form.
Rodriguez suffered a major injury in April 2014, just a month before Pochettino’s departure to Tottenham, when he ruptured his cruciate ligament in a game against Manchester City.
He was sidelined for the next 16 months, missing the 2014 World Cup finals with England, and has since struggled to regain his best form.
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However, his performance against Bournemouth looked more like the Rodriguez of old, much to the delight of the Tottenham boss.
He told the Sun: “I was very happy to see Jay on the pitch scoring again. I sent him a text afterwards to say so.
“He suffered a very bad injury and I remember, fresh in our minds, that day at Manchester City.
“He’s a top player, a top man and we were happy to see him score against Bournemouth. I’m happy he’s back to his level. He’s a top person.
“But now we’ll have to suffer him because he’ll be our enemy.”
Tottenham are nine points clear of Southampton in fifth place in the Premier League, and have won their last two games.
The Saints, meanwhile, have lost just once in their last six league games. However, while Southampton are one of the best defensive units in the competition, conceding just 16 goals from 17 games, they are also one of the league’s lowest goalscorers (17).
Charlie Austin is their top goalscorer with six league goals from the campaign, but the Saints’ no.10 has missed the last three games with a shoulder injury.
In other Tottenham news, Jamie Redknapp has named his Tottenham player of the season so far, and it’s not who you might think.