Sheffield Wednesday’s chances of remaining in the Championship were given a massive boost before the international break after they ended a winless run of eight matches by defeating their local rivals.
The Owls are now six points off safety, though they do have a game in hand on the side occupying that lucrative final spot in the English second tier.
It’ll be a hard task for Darren Moore to keep the Yorkshire giants in the division, but it isn’t out of the realms of possibility just yet. And one man could hold all the key to getting them over the line…
“Out of all the clubs I’ve managed, it’s probably as disjointed a group as I’ve managed. If you look at it, there’s six centre-halves, and I don’t think we’ve got a left back. We’ve got five tens, and really not a centre-forward.”
Those were the thoughts of axed Owls boss Tony Pulis back in December as he continued to shun the presence of Jordan Rhodes from his squad.
It was a rather damning indictment on the Scotsman; to say that they haven’t really got a centre-forward when in reality, there was one staring him right in the face each day.
Perhaps if the well-travelled 63-year-old had a little more faith in the long-serving Owls striker, then he may well still be in the job.
Compare that to how Moore feels about the 31-year-old, during his unveiling, he said (via YorkshireLive):
“Jordan is a good striker. He can finish and we don’t doubt that finishing ability. There’s plenty more football left in Jordan. There’s a wonderful talent if we are looking at him as an isolated figure. He’s a goalscorer, and he knows where the back of the net is.”
Since being appointed at the start of the month, no other Owls player has found the net more times than Rhodes, having bagged the opener against former club Norwich City and a brace in last weekend’s South Yorkshire derby.
From being snubbed by Pulis to becoming Wednesday’s joint-top goalscorer almost overnight, it’s clear to see that the 31-year-old, who is the club’s highest earner on £35k-per-week, still has a lot to give at Hillsborough.
His undeniable goalscoring ability will undoubtedly hold the key as to whether or not the Owls remain in the Championship this season. Wins are all that matter now, and you’ll only pick up three points by finding the net.
After all, Rhodes is merely eight goals away from being the division’s most prolific striker, so it’s no surprise to see Moore building his attack around him thus far.
Feed the Rhodes, and he will score.