Jordan Rhodes wants top-flight football with Blackburn Rovers
Updated 2:54pm Friday 4th April 2014 in Sport
BLACKBURN Rovers hitman Jordan Rhodes would like nothing more than to test his supreme finishing skills in the Premier League after laying waste to the Championship.
But the striker, who has scored 49 goals in 82 appearances in the second tier of English football since his club record £8m move to Ewood Park in August 2012, has made it clear he wants to achieve his top-flight aim with Rovers.
When asked whether he wants to play in the Premier League Rhodes said: “Ideally yes. When we wake up in the morning that’s what everyone at this club is striving for.
“This club deserves Premier League status again and if we go on a phenomenal run between now and the end of the season you never know – but it might be next season now.
“But we’ll take one game at a time, try and do our best and with that mentality in mind we’ll see where we are come May 3.”
Rhodes brought up 50 goals for Rovers when he scored an 86th-minute penalty in Tuesday’s 3-3 draw at home to Brighton & Hove Albion.
But the Seagulls equalised less than 90 seconds later to all but end Gary Bowyer’s side’s play-off chances.
The draw left 11th-placed Rovers seven points off the top six going into tomorrow’s home clash against eighth-placed Ipswich Town, Rhodes’ former club.
The 24-year-old, whose brace against Brighton took his tally for the term up to 22, was a prolific goalscorer at youth and reserve team level for the Tractor Boys.
But his dreams of going on to play for their first team were dashed in July 2009 when he was controversially sold by then Ipswich boss Roy Keane.
Rhodes admits Keane’s decision to sell him to Huddersfield for £350,000 has left him with a point to prove.
“Absolutely, you want to prove one or two people wrong with a couple of decisions that have been made previously in your career,” said Rhodes, who has scored 137 goals in 236 games since leaving the Tractor Boys.
“I’m just going to continue to try and do my best and hopefully one day I’ll look back on my career and say, ‘yes, you made a mistake’.”
Rhodes has over three years remaining on his contract.
There has been speculation – which Rovers have not commented on – that he will be offered a new longer-term deal.
That would protect the club further if potential suitors made a bid for their star striker.
However Rovers also have to be mindful of the Financial Fair Play regulations which come into force next season.
But Bowyer has made it clear he wants Rhodes to be at the forefront of the side he is building.
The Rovers boss said: “We’re building for the future and you only have to look at the teams who are successful in this division that it takes time for everybody to gel.
“Jordan’s the main goalscorer for us.”
Bowyer expects Corry Evans and Lee Williamson to be fit tomorrow after they picked up knocks against Brighton.
But fellow midfielder Jason Lowe remains sideline with an ankle injury.
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