Jordan Rhodes’ Sheffield Wednesday career still alive despite axe

Dejected Owls Jordan Rhodes....Pic Steve Ellis
Dejected Owls Jordan Rhodes....Pic Steve Ellis
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Jordan Rhodes remains in Jos Luhukay’s plans and could feature in Sheffield Wednesday’s crucial forthcoming South Yorkshire derby at Barnsley.

The striker, signed from Middlesbrough in a club-record £8m deal a little over a year, was not named in the matchday squad for Saturday’s defeat at home to Birmingham City.

Owls Manager Jos Luhukay.....Pic Steve Ellis

Owls Manager Jos Luhukay.....Pic Steve Ellis

Luhukay confirmed Rhodes was not injured but overlooked for selection.

“For this game we made this decision, but next week it can be a new situation,” Luhukay told The Star. “It’s always about the game we play. Maybe next week, Marco [Matias] and Daniel [Pudil] will not be there, so we haven’t a big squad.”

Rhodes has been a major disappointment this term. He has struggled to hold down a regular starting spot, scoring just six goals in 28 appearances.

The 28-year-old was heavily linked with a move away from Hillsborough on transfer deadline day last week.

It is understood Sunderland, Nottingham Forest and Ipswich Town expressed an interest in taking Rhodes on loan until the end of the season but no deal materialised.

Now Rhodes has every chance of leading the line at Oakwell on Saturday. The Owls are short on options up front, with Marco Matias set to serve a three-match ban following his straight red card against the Blues. Matias was controversially sent off for an off-the-ball-incident with Cohen Bramall and it remains unclear whether Wednesday will appeal the decision.

The Owls will also be without the services of Daniel Pudil following his dismissal for two bookable offences.

Luhukay said: “Next week we will be happy to have 13 or 14 players. We must have patience with our injured players.”

Only seven points separate the Owls from the relegation zone.

“I can not do anything about the past,” said Luhukay. “I can only try change the situation now. We must change a couple of things.

“Tomorrow, we must speak about it, then train intensively to be successful next Saturday. The team don’t have a mental problem, they are working hard, played a couple of good games, and the trust was there. But (against Birmingham), what could go wrong went wrong. You cannot get back in the game when you make those mistakes.”