PAUL Lambert wants to see more of the same from the new strike partnership he hopes will fire Blackburn Rovers up the Championship table.

Lambert was encouraged by the performance debutant Danny Graham and top-scorer Jordan Rhodes produced in their first outing together at Charlton Athletic on Saturday.


Rhodes’ 11th goal of the season earned Rovers a 1-1 draw which ensured they moved a point further clear of the relegation places.

But his manager was just as impressed by Graham’s display on his first appearance since signing on loan from Sunderland until the end of the season.

Rovers boss Lambert said: “I thought the front two were very, very good.

“Danny, in his first game, was excellent and he gave everybody a massive lift, and Jordan looked more like himself and took his goal very well.

“The way they linked up was excellent and if they can keep that partnership going it will be great for us.

“I thought Danny was excellent; his all-round game was excellent. Even if Danny doesn’t win a header he causes a bit of mayhem.

“I thought his link-up play, his movement, and the way he chased and harried was very good and very pleasing.

“He had terrific enthusiasm for the game and I’m really happy that he’s here.”

Rhodes and Graham will have to wait until the league trip to Middlesbrough on February 6 to pick up their partnership.

The cup-tied Graham will not play any part in this weekend’s FA Cup fourth-round tie at Oxford United having featured for Sunderland in their third-round defeat at holders Arsenal.

That could lead to fellow new boy Simeon Jackson making his first start for Rovers after catching the eye off the bench against Charlton.

The substitute nearly set-up a winning goal for Rhodes and had a strong appeal for a penalty turned down after replacing Graham.

Lambert, who previously managed Jackson at Norwich City, said: “I know what Simeon can do.

“He looked lively and he could have had a penalty.”

With Chris Brown suspended, Nathan Delfouneso out long term, and Fode Koita struggling for fitness and out of favour, former Oxford loanee Rhodes is set to start on Saturday against the club where he made his senior professional debut nine years ago.

His equaliser at Charlton made it two goals in as many matches after ending his nine-game drought with Rovers’ winner in their rearranged third-round clash at Newport County.

And Lambert said: “People keep telling me he goes on these little runs where he might not score for a few and then he’ll go a little run.

“It was a terrific ball in and a terrific header.”

After the Charlton game Lambert was asked once again about the future of Rhodes who has been linked with Premier League outfit Swansea City as well as Championship rivals Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday during the January transfer window.

But Rovers’ have not received any bids for their leading marksman and Lambert said: “It's the same situation as it was when I first came to the club.

“I’ve not heard anything. I chat with the chief executive and until someone tells me different then it’s the same situation.”

One player leaving Rovers is the club’s reigning player of the year Markus Olsson.

The left-back is expected to complete his move to Derby County as early as today.