UNERRING in front of goal and grounded in his responses off it is perhaps that best summation of Jordan Rhodes.
The Middlesbrough striker may be single-minded in his pursuit of predatory excellence on the pitch, but – in the round – he remains very much the proverbial team man. While speculation rages over whether he will be handed his full debut for Boro at Leeds United on Monday, Rhodes is remaining calm after his £9m switch from Blackburn.
Rhodes has been eased in thus far by way of brief substitute appearances against old club Blackburn and Milton Keynes Dons, with his stoppage-time strike against the latter increasing the clamour for him to start at Elland Road, where he has netted on his past three visits. But he insists he has no expectation to naturally start.
He said: “No, not at all, the manager has an array of talent and a squad full of fantastic players,” said the former Huddersfield Town striker, who joined Rovers for £8m.
“I’ll go into training bright and lively and do the very best I can, and if I get selected (to start) then great. But if not, I’ll support the lads who are selected.”
Middlesbrough head into the game on a four-match winless Championship streak, their most lengthy of the season – and in a severe rut regarding their form.