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Rhodes insists he never wanted to leave Ewood
DERBY hero Jordan Rhodes insists he has never wanted to leave Blackburn Rovers after preserving his side’s 34-year unbeaten derby record against Burnley.
Reports had suggested the striker was unhappy at being denied a transfer deadline day move to Championship rivals Wigan.
But Rhodes, whose 85th-minute equaliser earned Rovers a 1-1 draw with the Clarets on Saturday, has hit back by insisting they couldn’t be any further from the truth.
He said: “I saw a couple of newspaper articles after the deadline and they said ‘Jordan Rhodes is unhappy’ and things like that.
“But you know what? That couldn’t be any further from the truth.
“It’s a terrific football club full of great people. I love coming in everyday and it’s a terrific environment to be in.
“I don’t know where these things come from. People add two and two together and come up with five or six. It’s just not a true story.”
Rhodes’ vital late strike at Turf Moor was his fifth goal in his last three matches and his 33rd in 55 appearances for Rovers.
The prolific forward admitted the latest addition to his ever growing collection was not one of his prettiest.
But given it extended Rovers’ unbeaten run over their fiercest rivals to 11 games and 35 years, it definitely was one of his sweetest.
“How many times would that happen out of 10?” said Rhodes, who saw Clarets centre-back Michael Duff’s attempted clearance cannon off him and fly into the net.
“Fortunately it found the back of the net and you know what? As a striker I’d rather score one of them than a 30-yard volley that ends up in the top corner. They’re sweeter.”
Rovers take their three-match unbeaten run to high-flying Leicester tomorrow night before welcoming Rhodes’ former club Huddersfield to Ewood Park on Saturday.
“We have a tough week ahead of us, we knew that,” said Rhodes. “It’s one game down, it’s a good result, but we’ll forget about it now and get our minds switched on for Tuesday and prepare correctly in order to try and get a result again.”
Rhodes, as he did against Burnley on Saturday, will wear a protective cast at the King Power Stadium tomorrow to protect his broken left hand.
The 23-year-old dislocated two fingers in the 4-1 home over Bolton last month but then suffered further complications after a freak training ground accident while on international duty with Scotland.
Rhodes said: “I was doing doggy runs in training and I caught the two fingers in my pocket.
“I first did them by holding someone’s shirt, and they just popped out, which was probably the worst bit.
“So I had them taped up and just when I was getting over the worst of it, I caught them in my shorts as I was running in training and cracked the bone in my hand.”
Rhodes was forced to leave the Scotland camp early with the injury.
But it is extremely doubtful he would have started their World Cup qualifier in Macedonia after Scotland boss Gordon Strachan appeared to write off Rhodes’ chances of being his first-choice front man for the time being.
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