BLACKBURN Rovers striker Jordan Rhodes is hoping to repay the club’s faith in him by spearheading a charge to the Premier League this season.
The front man signed a contract extension earlier this month keeping him at Ewood Park until the summer of 2019 amid speculation surrounding his future.
But Rovers never received a bid for the 24-year-old, who scored 25 goals last season, and the former Huddersfield man is now looking forward to the Championship season opener against Cardiff City in three weeks time.
“To get the contract signed and all sorted out is terrific,” said Rhodes. “I love it here. Until Blackburn Rovers don’t want me anyway more I will be a Blackburn Rovers player.
“I am really looking forward to the new season. We’ve been back two and a half weeks and looking forward to that Friday night now.
“The foundation is there, the players are there. It is a Premiership club. It is our duty as players to try and get that status back.
“A lot of fans are quietly optimistic.
“As players we are trying to distance ourselves as much as we can do from that side of it all and concentrate on making ourselves better and not get carried away.
Rhodes will be part of the Rovers squad that travels to League One side Bradford City tomorrow for their latest pre-season friendly and midfielder Craig Conway is also expecting to recover for the trip.
The former Cardiff City man took a kick to the foot in the midweek draw with Accrington Stanley but is likely to recover in time for the trip to Yorkshire.
Rhodes may also miss out on a start with Ewood boss Gary Bowyer set to pair Chris Brown and Rudy Gestede up front but the competition for places is something the Scottish international is relishing heading into his third season at Rovers.
“The manager has got a few strikers to choose from,” added Rhodes citing not only Brown, Gestede and Varney but also the likes of Ben Marshall and Josh King as possible options.
“There is plenty of competition for places and no-one is taking it for granted. Every day in training it is up to us to prove it.
“It’s a really good team spirit at the moment. Everyone is familiar with one another and last week in Portugal helped the cause even more and we are hoping to take that into the new season.”