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Rhodes eager for squad to impress his ninth manager in just 12 months
JORDAN Rhodes believes Blackburn Rovers’ squad will all have a point to prove this week – as he prepares to play under his ninth manager within the last 12 months.
Rovers’ £8million man scored his 14th goal for the club in Friday’s 1-1 draw at Wolves and is confident their recent revival can continue under new boss Michael Appleton.
Rhodes is no stranger to welcoming in new managers, having already played under four at Ewood Park this season, on top of the two each at Huddersfield and Scotland in the past year.
And, with Rovers unbeaten in four, Rhodes knows the importance of continuing their Championship momentum with Appleton after meeting the manager for the first time yesterday.
Rhodes said: “It is difficult totalling them up (managers he has played under). I don’t know whether that is a good thing or a bad thing. Maybe I’m a bit of a jinx.
“I think in times like this, the squad has really pulled itself together. You can see after the last few games when we score the goal, we are all over the player, the unity is there and we are coming off the field as a collective.
“The team spirit does seem to have picked up. I know all those defeats before, that is a bit of a sinking feeling but a couple of wins really does lift you. We are taking one game at a time but we believe we can continue that team spirit with the new manager.
“It is a strange feeling going to a new club, I have done it a couple of times, it is like a first day at school. Saying that everyone will have to be right at it for training, come out the blocks and try and impress the new manager.
“Starting with the game next week against Charlton I am sure there will be places up for grabs, it is up to us to impress in training.”
Appleton arrives at Ewood with a different mood around the club than the one that existed when Henning Berg was sacked in December.
After a run of just one win 10 games, caretaker management duo Gary Bowyer and Terry McPhillips guided Rovers to three wins and a draw in their last four matches to raise belief around the club.
“All credit to Gary, Terry and Tony (Grant) for coming in and giving their support and helping us out when we needed them the most,” said Rhodes.
“It is part and parcel of football, you always expect the unexpected. We will keep ploughing away and do our duties. There is no better feeling in the world than being a professional footballer. I am very lucky and very privileged to be doing it. I am just happy to go out there and play football.
“There are plenty of points up for grabs and plenty to play for. It is important we go with the mentality that the next game is the biggest of the season and not get carried away with the bigger picture and just try to do our best.”