• Premier League

Southampton can go higher - Rodriguez

ESPN staff
November 11, 2013 « Welbeck and Carrick withdraw from England squad | Chartbeat test »
Rodriguez's fine form has earned him an England call-up © Getty Images
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Southampton will spend the international break in the heady heights of third in the Premier League - but Jay Rodriguez believes they have the ability to go even higher.

Saturday's 4-1 thrashing of Hull made this the Saints' best ever start to a top-flight season, even trumping the 1983-84 campaign in which they went on to finish as runners-up.

Rodriguez, 24, has played a key role in this term's success and believes Mauricio Pochettino's side can stay up with the Premier League frontrunners.

"We put effort and hard work into it," he said. "It showed in the result there that we deserved it. We went to third and we still believe we can be higher. There are no limits for us, really. We've just got to keep impressing and working hard."

Rodriguez is certainly impressing, earning a first call-up to the senior England side for the upcoming friendlies with Chile and Germany.

Saints team-mates Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana have also been included in Roy Hodgson's squad, with the trio travelling up to St George's Park on Tuesday.

"I am not sure what to expect," Rodriguez said. "I spoke to Rickie and he just said it was a great experience and that the lads are great. He came back from it with a lot of confidence and it is just an unbelievable experience. I can't wait.

"You look at the players. It is an unbelievable experience playing against them, so actually playing with them will be excellent for me."

Considering the Saints were plying their trade in League One three years ago, the number of international players at their disposal is quite remarkable. Even more surprising, however, is that Morgan Schneiderlin is not one of them.

Schneiderlin, 24, was last season crowned the club's fans' and players' Player of the Year, and has continued to impress this term, although France have yet to call-up the former under-21 international.

"It does surprise me because he's a player that does have the same quality as the players that have been called up," Saints manager Pochettino said of Schneiderlin, one of Southampton's longest serving players.

"He is a player that has amazing quality and I am 100 percent sure it will happen. He needs to keep on working with the same humility, the same work ethic and it's a matter of time until he will get that call up.

"The only thing I would say to the French Federation is they should be careful because he might be able to play for England."

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