HENNING Berg believes Jordan Rhodes is a rare breed in football – but insists it is important for the striker not to think too far ahead.
The Scottish international striker scored his first hat-trick for Blackburn Rovers in Saturday night’s impressive 4-1 demolition of Peterborough, taking his tally to nine goals in just 14 appearances for the club.
Boss Berg believes the 22-year-old is one of the few natural finishers in the game but, when pressed on how good Rhodes could be, the Norwegian declined to be drawn.
He said: “There are not that many players around in the different leagues who can score goals on a regular basis. He is one of them, he has done it in League One and now he has started doing it in the Championship.
“For us it is important that we feed him in the box, that we get our crosses in, enough passes, so he can get enough chances because we know he is a great finisher and has great timing of runs. We are very happy to have him.
“He is a really good finisher but he has not been tested yet at the highest level. Hopefully he will be playing Premier League next season.
“He has not played Premier League or Champions League football yet but he is a really good finisher. We have to see.
“He should not think about that (the future). He should think about getting better, making the runs as he is doing.
“He shouldn’t think too far ahead of himself.
“He is fantastic for us and when all the players get to know him a little bit better he will be better so we can get more play in the final third.”
The victory was Berg’s first as Rovers boss at the fourth attempt as he saw his side climb back into the Championship play-off places with the win lifting them to sixth.
Spanish playmaker Ruben Rochina has enjoyed an integral role in Rovers’ recent improved performances and had a hand in two of Saturday night’s goals.
But, after gifting the hosts possession for their late consolation strike, Berg was quick to insist Rochina still has plenty of room for improvement.
He said: “We conceded a goal so it was not a perfect performance from him but he has got quality, he is talented and he has played a big part in our win.
“His positional play, his skills, his passes are fantastic. He was involved in two or three of the goals as well so he is an important player, as all our players are.
“We need to find a role for him that suits him and I think we have done that now.”