Sheffield Wednesday legend John Sheridan has backed Jordan Rhodes to go on the goal trail, if he’s given the chance and the chances.
The Owls’ record signing has started the last two games and repaid that faith with a goal in each, against Millwall and Aston Villa.
Now, according to Sheridan, the former Huddersfield Town, Blackburn and Middlesbrough man must be given a long run in the team to allow him the opportunity to add to those two strikes.
Speaking as a guest on Sheffield Live, Sheridan described Rhodes as the best striker of his kind in the Championship and called on Carvalhal to rebuild the forward’s confidence by keeping him in the side.
“He’s got to be playing,” said the former Hillsborough hero.
“He’s been in and out of the team.
“He’s all about being in the box. I don’t think he’ll mind me saying, he’s not the quickest but if he gets chances in the 18 yard box there’s no one better in the division.
“I think he’s just got to get a run in the team and he’ll get more goals. He’s a bit of a Gary Lineker type fox in the box. Give him opportunities he’ll score goals and hopefully he’ll start doing it.
Sheridan added: “He’s proved himself, everyone knows what his strengths are. He needs to be in the team, it’s very unsettling if you’re unsure if you are going to start a game.”
Sheridan also backed Wednesday to at least pick up a play-off place this season, despite their indifferent start to the campaign.
The Owls are 11th in the table having been widely tipped to be challenging for a top two place and automatic promotion this season.
Two wins in a row, the last a hugely impressive one against Aston Villa, have lifted spirits and Sheridan says they could be ‘in or around the play-offs’.
“I think the manager has done a really good job there,” he said. “Unfortunately in the last two years they’ve been so close. I went to the Play-Off Final against Hull, they were very disappointing, they didn’t really turn up.
“I watched the game against Huddersfield, thought they were unlucky, I thought they would have gone on and done that. They’ve been close on two occasions so there’s a lot of pressure on the manager now for the third season where he’s nearly got there, just to get across the line.”
“I would fancy them to get in or around the play-offs. Definitely so,” he added.
Sheridan went on to suggest that Carvalhal, who has received a lot of criticism this season from sections of the Wednesday support, has been the victim of his own relative success in the two full years he’s been in charge at the club.
“Because he’s done a half decent job, he’s brought pressure on himself,” said the former Oldham and Chesterfield manager. “He’ll know the expectations and what the fans want from the team. I feel as though he’s done a good job and he just needs to try and get over the line and he knows it has to be this season.”
Sheridan added: “In football today you don’t get six or seven years.”