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Euro 2016

Rodriguez hoping for England recall

7:54 AM WAT 27/08/2015
The Southampton forward has not played for the Three Lions since 2013 after a 16-month injury layoff, but wants an international return ahead of Euro 2016 next summer

Fit-again Southampton forward Jay Rodriguez is dreaming of a return to the England fold.

Rodriguez, 26, is back playing again after a 16-month lay-off due to a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament.

The striker marked his competitive return with a goal in Southampton's 1-1 draw at home to Midtjylland in their UEFA Europa League play-off last week.

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman believes it is too soon for Rodriguez to be included in England's team for next month's Euro 2016 qualifiers against San Marino and Switzerland, warning Roy Hodgson ahead of Sunday's squad announcement.

But Rodriguez, who last played for England in 2013, is hoping an international return comes sooner rather than later.

"At the moment I'm just concentrating week by week to get as much match fitness and sharpness as I can and try and take confidence from each game. It's a case of taking it slowly and hopefully it comes," he said.

"Of course, it was the highlight of my career to go and represent my country. It's the best thing for a player to do that.

"There were times in my injury period that were really hard. If you aim high then the sky's the limit and that is what keeps you going through the tough times.

"There's no limit on what you can do. To reach the highest possible thing you can in football is a good marker."