Football - Trippier relishes Rodriguez reunion

Kieran Trippier is relishing a reunion with former Burnley team-mate Jay Rodriguez as the forward prepares to face his boyhood club with Southampton in the FA Cup.

Full-back Trippier came to Turf Moor in 2011, initially on loan then permanently, and recent England call-up Rodriguez was the first in a line of free-scoring Clarets strikers to profit from assists courtesy of his expert crossing.

Both QPR striker Charlie Austin and Danny Ings, the Clarets' current leading marksman, can attest to Trippier's value but Rodriguez could this weekend see what it is like to be the full-back's opponent, rather than an ally.

"Jay and I keep in contact and I have been texting him," Trippier, 23, told Clarets Player.

"It's great to see him doing so well and he deserves all he gets, so I'm looking forward to be playing against him.

"If he plays on the left wing, I'm sure I'll have some banter with him."

If, as expected, Rodriguez lines up on the left-hand side of Saints' attack he will directly come face-to-face with right-back Trippier.

The latter knows Southampton, one of the Barclays Premier League most impressive clubs this season, will be favourites yet Sean Dyche's side are second in the Sky Bet Championship table and have yet to embark on the mid-season slump many have forecast.

"We are doing well and if we match them up, who knows?" added former Manchester City trainee Trippier.

"There are always upsets in the FA Cup, so hopefully we can go there and get the win."

While Rodriguez owes a debt of gratitude to the club that moulded him as a youngster, Burnley's current star Ings is out to prove to Southampton they were wrong to let him go as a kid.

Their loss is certainly Burnley's gain as, after a couple of injury-hit years following his arrival from Bournemouth, Ings has flourished at Turf Moor, scoring 19 goals in 27 appearances for the club and representing England for the first time at Under-21 level.

While Trippier is normally Ings' chief provider, he got a goal himself on New Year's Day, scoring the third in a 3-2 win over Huddersfield.

He said: "It's only been about three years (since the last goal), but I felt I took the goal well!

"After a one-two with Sam (Vokes) I just followed my run and got lucky with the post and bar.

"But a goal is a goal and the most important thing is the three points, which we're delighted with.

"It's brilliant to be back in the top two and we just have to look after ourselves and we can now look forward to Southampton on Saturday."

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