Rhodes rescues Rovers again
APREDATOR like Jordan Rhodes is worth his weight in gold and after turning a draw into a victory against Fulham, no-one knows that better than Blackburn boss Gary Bowyer.
Rhodes pounced on a loose ball in the box to score his fourth goal of the season and ruin Kit Symons’ first game as bottom-ofthe-table Fulham’s caretaker manager.
The match turned just before half-time when Shaun Hutchinson was sent off for a reckless challenge on Rover’s midfielder Lee Williamson and the extra man soon told as Rhodes struck after the break.
“The goal is an outstanding finish,” Bowyer said. “I don’t think people will appreciate what a good finish that was because it ricocheted in the box.
“It’s an outstanding skill. The way he dealt with it was magnificent. He made it look easy and it certainly wasn’t.
“He does that time and time again. His work ethic is terrific.
“I thought we started brilliantly. Coming in to the atmosphere and the emotional state of the game, I thought we went out and got on the front foot and controlled the game.
“Full credit to Kit, I thought he got them organised and playing for him. The crowd was behind them so we knew it was going to be a tough afternoon on the back of a tough week.”
The sending off came at the end of a dull first half and there was no disputing the decision after Hutchinson went flying in with his studs up.
Williamson’s leg looked badly hurt but thankfully it was confirmed after the game to be only bruised.
Up until that point neither side had offered much going forward.
Rover’s best effort came after half an hour when a powerful shot from Rudy Gestede nearly embarrassed Marcus Bettinelli in the Fulham goal but his parry fell safe.
The home side then started to look a bit more threatening and nearly took the lead through Hugo Rodallega but his fizzing 25yard effort went just wide.
Blackburn began strongly after the break and it wasn’t long before they went ahead.
After a scramble in the box the ball fell to Rhodes ten yards out and he calmly poked the ball past Bettinelli.
Rhodes then had the chance to extend Rover’s lead after rounding the Fulham keeper but Dan Burns did well to get back and clear the ball.
Fulham’s ten men rallied well after that and nearly found an equaliser through Tim Hoogland but the defender ‘s powerful effort went just wide.
Overall, the caretaker boss was very proud of his team’s display and believes he won’t have to wait long for the Cottager’s first league win of the season.
“I couldn’t ask for any more from the players, I’m delighted with the performance,” Symons said.
“There was nothing in it in the first half when it was 11 v 11 and even in the second half we put up a good performance and had a few chances.
“We were very much in the game and it was a disciplined, resolute performance with ten men. I couldn’t ask for any more from the players.
“There’s a lot of stuff we need to work on and I’m going to be a busy boy in training for sure but the attitude and response in the two days I’ve had has been brilliant from the lads.”
SUPERSTAR: Jordan Rhodes celebrates scoring the winner for Blackburn Rovers
scores HITMAN: Jordan Rhodes