Sheffield Wednesday: Leeds United confident of keeping Jordan Rhodes quiet

Jordan Rhodes
Jordan Rhodes
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Jordan Rhodes heads to a happy hunting ground tomorrow aiming to get back on the goal trail.

Despite firing blanks in his last three outings, the 27-year-old striker is expected to line up against Leeds United this weekend.

Scotland international Rhodes enjoys facing the Whites, having scored six goals in 10 appearances versus the West Yorkshire club. Four of Rhodes’ half-dozen goals have come at Elland Road and he has never finished on the losing side against them.

Leeds centre-back Kyle Bartley is acutely aware of the threat Rhodes will pose but is confident they can contain him.

“His goalscoring record speaks for itself, it’s a massive threat for them - but we have dealt with it before,” he said.

Wednesday and Leeds, who will be without defensive duo Lewie Coyle and Charlie Taylor through injury, are level on points, with Garry Monk’s men sitting in fifth place on goal difference.

The Whites have been strong on home soil, winning 11 of their 17 matches.

Leeds boss Garry Monk has ordered his side to focus on the game and not the occasion.

“At the end of the day, when you strip it back, it’s 11 v 11, it’s a grass pitch, there’s one ball and you have to focus on your jobs while you are on there,” he said.

“It can be difficult but I think going back to where this group where at the start of the season - as a young group with not the biggest of experiences, coming through all of these experiences of derby games and other games where they have really had to show an improvement and show their fight and show their concentration for our football, I think they have improved immensely.

“It’s another chance for them to show how far they have come in terms of their mentality and the way they want to go about it.”

Meanwhile, Wednesday have taken Broxbourne Borough youngster Alie Bangura on trial and the highly-rated striker is poised to get a run-out in their Under-18s encounter away to Leeds tomorrow.

The forward, who started his week-long trial last weekend, played an instrumental part in Broxbourne’s run to the FA Youth Cup fifth round.

Roy Bleau, the Broxbourne Borough FC U18 manager, said: “If it’s successful we’ll all be delighted - it’s great for him and for the club.

“The good thing is Sheffield have gone through all the correct procedures and channels with an official letter – and the club has granted it.”

Club chairman Graham Dodd is also pleased for the 18-year-old.

“We will be absolutely delighted if Ali or any other of the boys involved in the FA Youth Cup are picked up by professional clubs and we will continue monitor the progress any of them make,” he said. “It’s great publicity for the club of course and a testimony to the hard work all our coaches put into the youth teams at all ages.”