JORDAN Rhodes’ conduct since Blackburn Rovers rejected Hull City’s attempts to sign him has come as no surprise to Derek Fazackerley.
Rovers owners Venky’s turned down a club record bid from the Premier League outfit for Rhodes before issuing a strongly worded statement on Saturday morning in which they stressed they had no intention of selling the £12m-rated striker.
Later that afternoon Rhodes put the speculation to one side to set Gary Bowyer’s men on their way to a 3-2 home win over Bournemouth.
It was the 24-year-old’s 54th goal for Rovers on what was his 100th appearance for the club following his club record £8m move from Huddersfield Town two years ago.
Afterwards Rhodes was praised by his manager Bowyer, his team-mates and by supporters for the professionalism he had displayed.
But that did not stop scorned Hull boss Steve Bruce, after admitting his pursuit for the Scotland international was ‘dead and buried’, from stating on Wednesday: “It’s disappointing for everybody concerned, but more disappointing I would presume, for somebody like Jordan.”
However Rovers record appearance holder Fazackerley, who was Rhodes’ first-team coach at Huddersfield, said: “Like every ambitious footballer he’ll want at some stage in his career to play at the top level – I’m absolutely certain of that.
“And I’m sure that opportunity will come, be it with Blackburn or be it with somebody else, and be it this year or another year.
“But he’s not a typical footballer in some respects, in that he’s not going to spit the dummy out and be disruptive. He’s a good professional and he’ll do what he has to do.
“Knowing Jordan the way I way I do and the way he was has been brought up, he’s always been a mature lad and a responsible lad and I’m quite sure he will respond in the right way.
“And as I say, it’s not like it’s the last-chance saloon for him – that’s certainly not the case. He’s young enough for another opportunity to come along at some stage and Blackburn, as a club, will have to respect that if they do not fulfil their own ambitions of getting back in the Premier League.
“But they have looked after him well, rewarding his efforts with a new contract in the summer, and he was willing to sign it.”
After finishing two points outside of the play-off places last season Rovers fans are hoping their side can break into the top-six this time around.
And Fazackerley, who made 674 appearances for the club between 1971 and 1986, has no doubt keeping Rhodes beyond the transfer window, which closes at 11pm on Monday, will give them a better chance of doing that.
“It’s a statement of intent from the owners but I don’t see what else they could have done because they wouldn’t want their leading goalscorer to leave the club,” said the 62-year-old, who is now assistant head coach to former Rovers boss Michael Appleton at Oxford United.
“And I imagine from Gary Bowyer’s point of view, and from the team’s point of view, it’s a major bonus and boost.”