Rhodes backing his ability

  • Last Updated: January 22 2014, 16:37 GMT

Scotland striker Jordan Rhodes has sought no talks with Gordon Strachan over the manager's comments that the national side's system did not suit his style.

Rhodes: Has Premier League goal
Rhodes: Has Premier League goal

Rhodes insists he is not concerned by Strachan's opinion that he was not yet the all-round player he needed to be to regularly start in the lone striker's role.

The 23-year-old Blackburn player brushed aside the issue with a typically exemplary attitude as he vowed to learn and work hard for a place in the team.

"First of all I'm very proud and very honoured to get called up for Scotland, full stop," said Rhodes, who was back at his old primary school in Fife to begin a role as Tesco Bank community ambassador.

"Never did I think that I would be an international footballer when I was running around this school at seven years old.

"Whenever given time on the field or when I get called up, I will just try to show a good attitude in training, try and work as hard as I can and try and show what I can do. Then it's up to the manager which side he selects."

Jordan Rhodes

11. Jordan Rhodes

Title Number
Appearances 41 (4)
Goals 24
Assists 5
Yellows 2
Reds 0
*Current Season

Rhodes, who has scored three goals in 11 internationals, added: "I will just continue to work hard and show a good attitude.

"Whenever the squad is named I will be supporting, whether it's as a fan or from the sidelines or wherever it might be. I'll support him whichever way I possibly can. It would be nice to get some time on the pitch but I'm not taking anything for granted."

Rhodes only started one game during Strachan's first year in charge, a 2-0 World Cup qualifying defeat in Serbia, but has featured regularly from the bench.

He was forced to pull out of squads for the last four matches, since Strachan's comments appeared in the press, latterly because he broke his hand in training when he got it caught in his pocket.

But he remains fully committed and pledged to work hard to learn the lone striker's role.

"I'll do my best at that," he said. "The time when the lone role really became apparent was when I was first called up to the under-21s under Billy Stark and Jim Fleeting.

"That was a real insight into how international football is played and how the structure is a bit different to the club side. I learned a great deal beneath them.

"If the time ever came up again then I would try to call upon the things they taught me and how I played."

Rhodes, who has scored 89 goals in the past two-and-a-half seasons, feels he has improved his football brain by playing for Scotland.

"It's a lot more patient at international football," he said. "There are less balls being fired up to you and at Championship level it's very back-to-front and high tempo and a lot of running around.

"At times in international football you have to use your head rather than your body and your fitness. There is no point running around after (Branislav) Ivanovic for instance for Serbia. There was no point closing him down because whenever I got near him he seemed to pass the ball away.

"I think at times you have to save your energy and be clever about it for the times when you do have the ball."

Rhodes was at Cairneyhill Primary School near Dunfermline for the first time since leaving when his goalkeeper father Andy Rhodes returned to England with the family.

"We only had the bench as a goal," he said. "It must have been about 30cm high so it was important to keep your shots low.

"Even now I can still remember a few goals that I scored and a few matches that got a bit heated even at that age."


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