“I closed my eyes and broke it,” says Burnley striker Matej Vydra, after finishing the 17-month period without a goal.

Burnley Czech forward Matej Vydra (above) avoids Danish Southampton defender Jannik Vestergaard during the English Premier League football game between Southampton and Burnley at St Mary’s Stadium.

The 27-year-old, who had only made a start in the Premier League since November 2018, was the unlikely hero of the hour against Southampton, as Burnley was left with 2-1 winners.

The Czech forward cushioned Jeff Hendrick’s pass in his chest, moving away from Jack Stephens at the edge of the area, then jumped to Kyle Walker-Peters before finding the final to beat Alex McCarthy.

Vydra, who had not scored since the 4-0 win over AFC Bournemouth in Turf Moor, described it as a “special day” against the Saints after replacing striker Chris Wood midway through the first half.

He said: “I was waiting for this moment for a long time. It’s a special day for me. I just try to help, and it ended like that with a very good goal and three points.”

“I heard this was my first goal for 17 months, so I was waiting for this for so long. I can’t tell you how I feel right now. I’m happy and maybe I can celebrate a little tonight.”

“I tried to hold the ball in my chest and I saw that the right back was approaching me, so I tried to push the ball away from him.

“I closed my eyes and broke it because I don’t want to think about what or where I can finish the ball and when I saw that the ball was inside the goal, I simply said ‘wow’. I hadn’t felt that feeling for so long.”

The former Derby and Watford County striker, who has been included twice in the PFA Championship Team of the Year, had been the subject of Russia’s interest with its deadline this weekend.

But his teammates showed how much they value him within the team when they ran to celebrate his winner, while each of them showed their respect for him by recognizing his full-time contribution.

“It’s a good time for me and a good time for Burnley because of our last four games we have three wins and a draw,” said Vydra, who has only made three starts in the Premier League since signing for £ 11m from Derby County in The summer of 2018.

“We are simply improving our performance and I am happy about that. I just try to help my teammates.”

“It was very difficult for me because I haven’t played too many games, but you must be prepared because you never know what can happen during the game.”

He added: “I entered after about 25 minutes and just tried to do my best. “If you score this type of goal, then you feel safe. I didn’t play for so long that I was literally blowing, but I tried to run everywhere and tried to defend myself, hold the ball in advance. “

“It was very nice for my teammates. Everyone said I deserved the goal, not only today (in general). This team is very good inside and I try to help, and today it was special.”

“I got on my knees and almost crashed Aaron Lennon’s face. I could not stop.

“We are very close and I think everyone feels happy here for the group.”

With Wood waiting for a spell after having suffered a hamstring injury in the victory on the South Coast, and Ashley Barnes weeks after her recovery from a hernia operation, Vydra can receive an extended run on the side.

It has been frustrating for the striker, but his patience and perseverance could now be rewarded.

“I don’t want to say it wasn’t frustrating,” Vydra admitted. “Of course, if you are not playing you are not happy, but you have four good strikers on this team, and you can only play two. I was waiting, and today came, and I hope everyone is happy today.”

“You never know what the next one can be and I just try to do everything, every day in the training sessions and maybe today was the day when my opportunity came true and I tried to seize it.”

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