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Rhodes wants Rovers to be 'brave' in attack
JORDAN Rhodes is eager to help Blackburn Rovers prolong their unbeaten start to the season – but knows they will have to risk losing on occasions to get the victories they need to stay top of the Championship.
Rhodes found the net on his home debut to help Rovers maintain top spot with a 2-1 win over Barnsley on Tuesday and Steve Kean’s side have not been defeated in six league games this season.
It is the club’s longest unbeaten run at the start of a campaign since they won the Premier League in 1994/95, when they went seven games without a loss – a run that could be matched tomorrow when they host Middlesbrough in front of the Sky TV cameras.
Record signing Rhodes was part of a Huddersfield side that went 43 league games undefeated between January and November last year, setting a new Football League record.
But the Terriers still missed out on promotion in 2010/11 and were only second in the table when their 18-match unbeaten start to last season came to an end.
Boss Lee Clark was sacked three months later and it was only under Simon Grayson that they finally achieved promotion from League One via the play-offs.
Rovers have rarely been at their best in the opening games of the season and Tuesday’s result could have been different had Marlon Harewood not missed a fine chance for Barnsley at 1-1.
But Rhodes said: “We’re still unbeaten and we’ve taken six points in the last two games, so life’s good.
“We’re top of the league and I don’t think there’s too much to be concerned about just yet.
“We did have a great unbeaten run when I was at Huddersfield, under Lee Clark at the time.
“To have experienced that is something that will probably go down on my CV.
“To play in a team that is unbeaten, it’s not the be all and end all of things though, sometimes you want to go out in an attacking mind frame and try to win games rather than draw them.
“We’ll just to try to go out and win every game, and give it our best shot for Blackburn Rovers.
“Yes, it’s good to stay unbeaten and it looks good on the record.
“But I’m sure if you ask anyone associated with Blackburn Rovers, if it was three, four, five or even 10 defeats, if we finish in that number one position at the end of the season I’m sure no-one will be too bothered about the losses.”
Rhodes has now netted three goals in his first three games for Rovers since making the £8m move from Huddersfield – already surpassing the tally that Kevin Davies, one of the club’s previous record signings, managed in his entire time at Ewood.
His smart strike against Barnsley came in front of watching Scotland boss Craig Levein, who is under pressure to include the 22-year-old in his starting line-up for a World Cup qualifier in Wales next month.
But Rhodes’ focus right now is on Rovers and trying to keep them top of the table.
“We’ll try to stay top, we’ll give it our best shot,” he said.
“It’s nice to score any goal and just to see the ball hit the net on Tuesday was really pleasing.
“It’s nice for the manager (Levein) to come down and show interest, that’s pleasing.
“I’m pleased that I managed to get on the scoresheet while he was watching.
“But I’m still young and there are still plenty of good players for him to choose from, so I’m not counting on anything just yet.”
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