SHANE Duffy is backing Jordan Rhodes to go on a scoring run after the hitman showed nerves of steel to set Blackburn Rovers up for a top-six showdown at Middlesbrough.

Rhodes kept his cool from the spot two minutes from the end of Saturday’s captivating Ewood Park clash with Leeds United to earn Gary Bowyer’s 10-man side the most dramatic of Roses victories.


The 2-1 win hauled resurgent Rovers up to sixth in the standings and within two points of third-placed Boro ahead of this weekend’s Riverside encounter.

Rhodes will go into that game with his confidence well and truly restored after his match-winning double strike against Leeds.

The prolific striker was ‘distraught’ after he uncharacteristically fluffed a penalty in the 0-0 draw home draw with his former club Huddersfield Town last month.

But Rhodes put the pain of that miss behind him when he converted the 88th-mintue spot-kick that left Leeds and their 6,900-strong travelling support stunned.

It was his seventh goal of the season and his 60th in 114 appearances for Rovers since his club record £8m move from Huddersfield.

And defender Duffy is certain Rhodes will soon join strike-partner and 10-goal top-scorer Rudy Gestede on double figures for the campaign.

The Rovers centre back said: “His penalty was top quality – that’s why he’s Jordan Rhodes. There are not many players who could step up and score with that pressure and in that atmosphere.

“The whole result depended on it and I’m absolutely buzzing for him that he put it away because he missed his last one.

“He was upset about that but he’s absolutely delighted because his two goals have won us the game.

“I’m sure it’ll give him a lift, push him on, keep scoring and hopefully he'll catch Rudy.”

Rovers boss Bowyer was also full of praise for Rhodes who had restored parity in the 71st minute following a dreadful defensive mix-up between Leeds goalkeeper Marco Silvestri and defender Liam Cooper.

“Jordan showed magnificent mental strength and there was never any doubt he was taking the penalty,” said Bowyer.

“He was distraught and disappointed after his miss against Huddersfield but on the Monday he was back out there practising his penalties after everybody had finished training.

“So it’s not luck that he put it away – and neither was his first goal.

“We saw their goalkeeper do the same against Cardiff City so we knew we had to chase lost causes.

“So that’s not luck, that’s knowledge and desire and, once he was in there, we knew he would apply the finish.”

Rhodes’ winner came six minutes after Tom Cairney was shown his second yellow card.

Bowyer said: “I had no problems with the sending off but you can’t knock Tom’s enthusiasm.

“He knew if he had won the ball he’d be clean through on goal with a chance to win us the game. I’ve got no problems with that attitude.”

Cairney will be suspended for Saturday’s trip to Middlesbrough where Rovers will attempt to stretch their unbeaten run to nine matches.

But new dad Duffy will feature and he is hoping his month to remember can continue after his partner gave birth to their first child, a baby girl, two weeks ago.

He said: “I’m delighted about becoming a dad, it’s hard, but she’s doing well, and Saturday’s result has made it even better.”