HUDDERSFIELD Town striker Jordan Rhodes did his chances of a full Scotland cap no harm whatsoever last night with a smart double for the Under 21s against Austria.
The 21-year-old’s clever headers took his tally to five in five for Billy Stark’s side and earned them a 2-2 draw in their European Championship qualifier at St Mirren Park.
Rhodes – who scored a hat trick against Luxembourg last week – pounced after 37 and 64 minutes to wipe out strikes from Andreas Weimann and Deni Alar in a match screened by Sky TV.
Rhodes’ performance – on a night when Town stayed third in League I thanks to MK Dons losing 2-1 at Oldham – was hailed by former Scotland international and Sky pundit Neil McCann.
He said: “Rhodes is definitely one for the future for our national team.”
While England Under 21s won their qualifier 2-1 against Norway in Drammen to take control of their group (scorers were prolific defender Craig Dawson and captain Jordan Henderson), Scotland had to work hard for a point, although Rhodes was unlucky to be denied penalty claims on 23 minutes.
He emerged unscathed from a full 90 minutes, however, and will link up with his clubmates on Thursday, when the squad will work at Canalside before heading to the South-West to begin final preparations for Saturday’s Exeter clash.
“Recovery is as important as training, and Jordan has had a busy schedule over the last week,” said boss Lee Clark.
“He’s travelled to Luxembourg and back, then returned to Huddersfield in the early hours of this morning, and that takes it out of you.
“And as well as the matches, he’s been involved in double training sessions with the Under 21s, so we’ll make sure he’s okay fitness wise then tell him to rest up.”
The other squad members will train today, with midfielder Oscar Gobern due to join in after recovering from the dead leg picked up against Bradford last Tuesday.
“Oscar wasn’t quite ready for the Stevenage game, but he’s improved a lot over the last couple of days and should be in contention for Exeter,” added Clark.
“It’s a long trip down there, but going on Thursday will help ensure the lads get the journey out of their legs.
“The hotel we use in that part of the world has excellent training facilities which we will use on Friday.”