HUDDERSFIELD Town boss Simon Grayson hopes to snuff out the threat of Jordan Rhodes tonight but has warned his Town squad it’s not all about one man.
The Scotland international returns to the John Smith’s Stadium with Blackburn Rovers for the first time since his £8m move to Ewood Park in August.
Grayson says he’s sure the 22-year-old will get a warm reception from Town fans – he netted 40 goals to catapult the side towards promotion last season – and he’s wary of Rhodes goal-scoring prowess, but he’s laid down the law about not forgetting the rest of Rovers’ big-money talent.
“People wondered whether Jordan could make the step up to the Championship and keep on scoring, but he will score goals at whatever level he plays because that’s his natural game,” said Grayson.
“We know him quite well, obviously, and know what he can and can’t do, so hopefully we will be able to keep him quiet.
“But Rovers have spent more money this time than they have in the last couple of years and they’ve got people like Dickson Etuhu, Danny Murphy has played at the highest level and Morten Gamst Pedersen has been there a while in the Premier League, so they’ve got some exciting young players as well and are a good side.
“They will be wanting to make it very tough for us and, just because Jordan Rhodes is coming back you don’t get any extra points for beating a team with a former player in it.
“If we perform like we know we can then we will have a chance of winning. If we produce some of the elements from our win against Bristol City and combine then with some of the elements from our previous home win against Wolves, then we won’t be far away.
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“It’s a matter of being more ruthless in both boxes than Blackburn and passing the ball better than we have.”
So had Grayson expected Rhodes to leave and is he happy with how the Town team have coped without him?
“We had to make sure we covered both aspects, whether he left or whether he didn’t,” said Grayson.
“Jordan is a fantastic lad to work with and when he got the opportunity to move to another club he took it and we wished him well. We thanked him for what he’d done for this club and now we have moved on, because that’s how football is.
Click on the link below to view a gallery of Jordan Rhodes' time at Huddersfield Town - including some top goalsRelated content
“We have brought in others to replace him and it’s a testament to how those players in the team have done that people haven’t really talked too much about missing Jordan Rhodes.
“You do miss him, obviously, because of the number of goals he scored, but people have started talking about Beckford, Vaughan and Lee Novak, plus the likes of Sean Scannell and Adam Hammill, and that’s a testament to how we’ve been able to replace someone who was so popular.”