Garry Monk hails hat-trick hero Jordan Rhodes as striker kick-starts Sheffield Wednesday career at Nottingham Forest
There was one name that filled the cold Nottingham air as Sheffield Wednesday supporters shuffled out of the City Ground; that of club-record signing Jordan Rhodes.
The forward netted a spectacular first-half hat-trick to send his side on their way to their most impressive performance of the season and those travelling Wednesdayites into raptures in a rampant 4-0 win over promotion rivals Nottingham Forest.
The first was his first for the club since April 2018 and manager Garry Monk said after the match that he believes the display can signal the kick-start to his previously faltering Wednesday career.
“I’m delighted for him,” said Monk. “We all are. It’s been tough for Jordan, the last couple of seasons, even into this season.
“I spoke to him when I came in and asked him for that hard work and understanding what he is.
“He has had to be patient, but I told him he would get an opportunity and now he’s had that, it’s begun to pay off.”
Rhodes’ trio came courtesy of some fine deliveries from his midfield colleagues and together with top-scorer Steven Fletcher, who netted the Owls other goal on the stroke of half-time, the home side had no answer.
Asked whether his side had been asked to play to Rhodes’ strengths, Monk said: “We had a game plan.
“We knew coming here how dangerous they can be, especially on their pitch but we did exactly what we needed to do.
“We all know he has that quality. He’s done some hard work behind the scenes, he’s pushed his way back in and when you get in you’ve got to take the opportunity.
“He’s done that, especially today.”
The 29-year-old spent last season on loan at eventual tier two champions Norwich City and has spent this season flitting in and out of matchday squads.
Monk said: “It’s been about kicking on and having some belief. It’s been tough for him.
“I asked all of them to work hard and show me some personality and he’s done that. They’re all different personalities, in his own way he’s shown that.
“They were fantastic goals, a fantastic performance from him.”