JORDAN Rhodes ended his five-game goal drought at the City Ground on Saturday, but Rovers boss Gary Bowyer said it was always a matter of time before he found the back of the net again.

It was Rhodes’ longest spell without a goal since going nine games without finding the back of the net at the start of 2014.


With 13 minutes left on Saturday he chased a long clearance from strike partner Rudy Gestede and capitalised on a mistake from Michael Mancienne, made under pressure from Rhodes, before twisting and turning and creating enough space to find the bottom corner of the net with an instinctive left-footed finish.

The strike, Rovers’ third in a remarkable 11-minute spell in the East Midlands, ended Rhodes’ 534-minute run without a goal, which included his penalty miss against former club Huddersfield Town on October 4.

Last week Rovers’ assistant manager Craig Short had backed the prolific marksman to end his drought on Saturday, and so it proved with his fifth goal of the season.

“A lot of people make more of it than what we do,” said Bowyer of the run without a goal.

“What we do know is that when he goes on a run of not scoring there is a goal around the corner.

“Fortunately for us it was on Saturday, and with probably his most difficult chance of the game.”

In March Rhodes ended his nine-game goalless streak with the opener against Burnley in the East Lancashire derby, and then a struck a hat-trick at Huddersfield a week later, and he finished the season with nine goals in his final 14 games of last season.

The strike at Forest was Rhodes’ 58th goal in 110 appearances for Rovers since his club record £8million move from Huddersfield in August 2012.

After standing in as captain for Grant Hanley in the 1-1 draw at Ipswich and the 1-0 win over Birmingham City, Rhodes was back among the rank and file on Saturday as the Scottish centre half returned from his knee injury to take the armband.

Hanley played the full game at the City Ground after only returning to training midweek, and Bowyer was pleased with how he came through a tough test against Michail Antonio and Britt Assombalonga.

“He’s had two days training with us and he was fine,” said Bowyer. “I thought he and (Shane) Duffy recovered well in the second half, I thought they were solid.”

Bowyer also reserved special words of praise for Alex Baptiste, with the Forest fan scoring the equaliser from right-back.

“He did ever so well,” said Bowyer. “Everybody contributed, but that was the first goal that we needed, it was an important one and we’re delighted for him, he’s got some ability, he should score more goals and we’ve been on to him.”