Jay Rodriguez: Dwight Gayle won’t shut up as he tops West Brom scoring charts
Jay Rodriguez has confirmed Dwight Gayle has relaunched a relentless barrage of verbal abuse since moving back ahead of him in the scoring charts.
Rodriguez and Gayle have a long-running competition this season over who will finish top scorer.
Gayle streaked ahead with a hat-trick at Rotherham United, before Rodriguez capitalised on an injury to the Newcastle loanee.
An important brace on Boxing Day against Wigan was followed up with his fifth successful penalty of the season against Blackburn to draw level on 13 goals.
But against Norwich on Saturday, Gayle moved one goal ahead of his strike partner with a predatory finish 12 minutes into his return from injury to move up to 14 goals for the season.
And the cheeky striker has not let Rodriguez forget about it during their training camp in Dubai.
“Honestly, he’s not stopped,” said Rodriguez. “No, it’s really good banter between us. I love him to bits, as a guy and as a player, he’s a great guy to have.
“His finishes in training and obviously in games – there’s no luck there – it’s what he’s about.
“I’m happy for him, at the time it was an important goal. But he always gives me stick, that’s just Dwight.”
Gayle may be on top at the moment, but Rodriguez is still content, because he’s on course for his own personal target.
“You always set a target,” said Rodriguez. “I set a short-term one and one for the season. I keep it to myself because I think it’s just for me, and hopefully I reach it. I think I’m on target at the moment. It might change because hopefully I pass it.
“I’ve got to be realistic, which is what I have done throughout my career.
“I set myself little targets at the start of the season and I tick them off and try to achieve them.”